In addition to making performative installations, Ward Shelley works with diagramatic paintings, timelines of art-related subjects such as the careers of artists working in de-materialized media and the history of art scenes. The best known of these is the Williamsburg Timeline Drawing and Downtown Body, recently published in Bomb Magazine. Shelley's work is in a number of museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Art Museum, and The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Last year Shelley received a painting and Sculpture award from the Joan Mitchell foundation, and has been a fellow of the American Academy in Rome since 2006. He has received NYFA and NEA fellowships in sculpture and new media categories, a Bessie Award for installation art, as well as private foundation grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. He is represented by Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
Oil on Mylar, 2011 (currently exhibited in the museum)
Crane's Timeline is a diagram depicting the evolutionary path of cranes, from the emergence on land of the amniotic egg, through the age of dinosaurs to modern birds. It cites the primary known ancestors and near-family members of cranes using modified cladograms and tells the story of how adaptive radiation created the 16 distinct species of cranes that exist today.