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Diana Al-Hadid
Syrian American
Syrian American
(Aleppo, Syria, 1981 - )

View the objects by this artist.


Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Diana Al-Hadid is fascinated by boundaries in all forms—where something begins and ends, and how we define or belong to a place, be it architectural, sculptural, or experiential. Her panoply of disparate references stretches across time and space as she navigates the division between two-dimensional mark-making and three-dimensional sculpture, the imagined and the real, interior and exterior, belonging and alienation, the ruin and the yet-to-be-completed.

In these works, Al-Hadid looks to the achievements of two Islamic polymaths: the 13th century inventor Al-Jazari and the 15th century mathematician and cartographer Matrakçi Nasuh. In Al-Jazari’s Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206), he outlines a candle clock—a device that measure the passage of time using the weight of melting candle wax to trigger a series of mechanical operations at certain intervals. Pulling from these visionary drawings, Al-Hadid’s The Candle Clock in the Citadel (2017) appears both a ruin of Al-Jazari’s functional timepiece and a fantastical contraption in which metal balls emerge from the chest of a gilded falcon, rolling down a spiral armature to the floor. Al-Hadid’s signature polymer gypsum coats the large sculpture like dripping wax.

In South East North West (2017), a screen of polymer gypsum constitutes both the structure and surface of its two panels. Rotating the works during their fabrication to drip the liquid material in various directions, Al-Hadid creates what she calls a “blend of fresco and tapestry,” the woven pattern resembling a city map. With its stream of blue painter’s tape interlaced with pastel polymer gypsum and flashes of gold leaf, the work recalls Matrakçi Nasuh’s panoramic miniatures of landscapes and urban centers across the Ottoman empire.

These would be the first works by Al-Hadid to enter into the collection.

Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1981, and raised in Cleveland. She received a BFA in sculpture and a BA in art history from Kent State University, Ohio in 2003, an MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 2005, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine in 2007. Al-Hadid has had solo exhibitions at the Akron Art Museum, Ohio; the Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; the San José Museum of Art; University of Texas at Austin Visual Arts Center; the Vienna Secession, Austria; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina; Her work has also been featured in important international group exhibitions, including Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery, London; Sharjah Biennial 9; Glasstress 2015: GOTIKA, an official collateral event of the 56th International Venice Biennale; and Culture City of East Asia 2016, Toshodaiji Temple, Nara, Japan. Al-Hadid’s work is included in public collections such as The Museum of Fine Arts Houston; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina; the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. (acquisitions meeting March 19, 2018)

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