SJMA Acquires Art by Diana Al-hadid and The Propeller Group

Release date 
Friday, April 27, 2018

Diana Al-Hadid, The Candle Clock in the Citadel, 2017. Modified polymer gypsum, fiberglass, brass, copper, steel, concrete, polyurethane foam, plaster, metal leaf, and pigment; 117 x 90 x73 inches; Gift of the Lipman Family Foundation.


Diana Al-Hadid, South East North West, 2017. Polymer gypsum, fiberglass, steel, plaster, gold leaf, copper leaf, painter's tape, and pigment; 130 x 168 x 5 in.; Gift of Lipman Family Foundation.


The Propeller Group, Antique Earth Satellite, 2016. Tracwood and jackfruit wood; 207 x 50 x 40 inches; Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Acquisitions Committee.

SAN JOSÉ, California (April 27, 2018) — The San José Museum of Art announces the acquisition of three works by major international artists. Two works by Brooklyn-based artist Diana Al-Hadid, whose solo-exhibition Diana Al-Hadid: Liquid City was featured at SJMA in 2017, will join the permanent collection, made possible by a gift from The Lipman Family Foundation. The two works by Al-Hadid are the 117-inch tall free-standing sculpture The Candle Clock in the Citadel (2017) and the two paneled South East North West (2017). The Museum also purchased the sculpture Antique Earth Satellite (2016) by the Vietnam based art collective The Propeller Group. The work, purchased with funds contributed by the Acquisitions Committee, was on view at SJMA in The Propeller Group’s self-titled exhibition that concluded last month.

“As SJMA looks forward to our 50th anniversary in 2019, we are delighted to continue to grow the permanent collection with works by artists of international significance,” said S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director. “These new acquisitions reflect the best in contemporary art as well as the diverse communities here in Silicon Valley.”

Al-Hadid’s work will be the subject of two exhibitions in New York this spring: Diana Al-Hadid: Delirious Matter at Madison Square Park (May 14 – September 13) and an iteration of SJMA’s recent exhibition, organized by curator Lauren Schell Dickens, at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (July 18 – October 14). In the two works acquired by SJMA, 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. Pulling from their drawings, The Candle Clock in the Citadel(2017) appears to be both a ruin of Al-Jazari’s candle clock timepiece and a contraption in which metal balls emerge from the chest of a gilded falcon, rolling down a spiral armature to the floor.South East North West (2017) is what Al-Hadid calls a “blend of fresco and tapestry” with the woven pattern resembling a city map and recalls Nasuh’s panoramic miniatures of landscapes and urban centers across the Ottoman Empire. These works are the first by Al-Hadid to enter SJMA’s collection.

Antique Earth Satellite (2016) is a free-standing, 87-inch tall sculpture carved from jackfruit wood and found tracwood – a type of Vietnamese redwood that is protected in most of Vietnam. This intricate sculpture combines traditional Vietnamese carving techniques with sci-fi subjects. The wooden sculpture is one of a group of objects in which an imagined future is projected into objects from the past. It is the first work by The Propeller Group, who were recently profiled by Frank Rose in the New York Times, to enter into the collection.


Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1981, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She received a BFA in sculpture and a BA in art history from Kent State University, Ohio in 203, 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 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.


The Propeller Group was founded in 2006 and consists of members Matt Lucero (born 1976, Upland, California), Tuan Andrew Nguyen (born 1976, Saigon), and Phunam (born 1974, Saigon). Their work has been featured in the Goteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Sweden; the 56th Venice Biennale; Prospect.3: Notes for Now, International Contemporary Biennial, New Orleans; No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Unseen: Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, China; Six Lines of Flight, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Made in LA, Los Angeles Biennial, Hammer Museum; and The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York. Their recent retrospective was seen at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Phoenix Art Museum, Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, and the San Jose Museum of Art.


San José Museum of Art also announces these additional recent acquisitions: DBL_DBL, 2015 by Detroit-based Margo Wolowiec, a gift of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery; Robert Hudson’s Untitled, 1973, acrylic and ink on paper, a gift from Brian Gross in honor of Beverly and Peter Lipman; two works by Petra Cortright, creatine monohydrate destruction_da_tirdkind, 2016 and 6_v211132013, 2015; a photogram by Vanessa Marsh,Mountains 10, 2014, a gift of Elizabeth and Byron Ryono; Hayal Pozanti, 18 (Possible variations of a human smile), 2015, acrylic on canvas; Jacolby Satterwhite, Domestika, 2017, virtual reality with sound; and Tacita Dean, LA Exuberance 1-5, 2016, from a series of fifteen hand-drawn three-color blend lithographs.


The San José Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought-provoking, the Museum rejects stuffiness and delights visitors with its surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time. SJMA is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM and until 8 PM or later on the third Thursday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students, and $5 for youth ages 7 – 18. Members and children ages 6 and under are admitted free. For more information, call 408-271-6840 or visit 


Programs at the San José Museum of Art are made possible by generous operating support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José, and the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation.