Diana Al-Hadid is known for a practice that spans media and scale and examines the historical frameworks and perspectives that shape our material and cultural assumptions. Al-Hadid’s sculptures, the panel works, and works on paper are built up with layers of material and history. Her rich, formal allusions across cultures and disciplines, drawing inspiration, not only from the history of distance civilizations but also from histories of the materials themselves.
In her first major public art project, Diana Al-Hadid (American, b. Aleppo, Syria 1981) combines aluminium, steel, fibreglass, concrete, polymer modified gypsum, and pigment in four sculptures installed across the Williams campus. Al-Hadid is best known for creating ghostly white sculptures that pivot among architectural ruin, figuration, and abstraction. Delirious Matter conjures architecture that evokes archaeological remains, human figures that seep into cascading form, and expanses that hover between interior and exterior. The sculptures are located across the Williams College campus, in front of Berkshire Quad, Hopkins Hall, and the Sawyer Library Quad.
Diana Al-Hadid: Delirious Matter was commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York, and was first exhibited by Mad. Sq. Art, the contemporary art program of the Madison Square Park Conservancy. The installation at Williams College is made possible by a generous contribution from Seton Melvin ’82 and the Williams College Public Art Fund, established by the Class of 1961.
Diana Al-Hadid, Delirious Matter, 2018. Collection of the artist, courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery. © Diana Al-Hadid. The exhibition was organized by Madison Park Conservancy, New York.
Delirious Matter is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Substantial exhibition support for Delirious Matter is provided by Marianne Boesky Gallery, Stacey Goergen, and Showman Fabricators.
Al-Hadid developed a unique process for her panels that evolved from material studies in her large-scale sculptures, but which owe a great debt to her flatwork. Her work borrows from a variety of sources ranging from Old Master paintings to the innovative works of the Islamic Golden Age with an interest in how commonly understood typologies and histories can be distinguished. The panels are made additively and originate from the artist’s quick gestural brushwork, methodically reinforced such that the image dictates the structure. Al-Hadid describes her signature process as “somewhere between fresco and tapestry.” These works have been made as hanging objects, architectural interventions, and most recently as outdoor installation.
She received a BFA in Sculpture and a BA in Art History from Kent State University in 2003, and an MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 2005. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. She has been the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Grant, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, and a Pollock-Krasner Grant. She is also a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow. Al-Hadid has had solo exhibitions at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, Providence, RI, NYU Abu Dhabi University Gallery, Abu Dhabi, UAE, The Vienna Secession in Vienna, Austria, the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, the Akron Museum of Art, Akron, OH, the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA, the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, NC the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, the Centro de Arte Contemporánea, La Conservera, Murcia, Spain, the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA, and The Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN. Her work is included in collections such as the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, and Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC. She has had large public installations at Madison Square Park, New York, NY, Williams College, Williamstown, MA, and Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Nashville, TN. She is represented in New York by Marianne Boesky Gallery.
Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1981 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Diana Alhadid Art 21 Video: