Sightings: Diana Al-Hadid
October 22, 2011 - January 15, 2012
Continuing its Sightings series of installations and architectural interventions by contemporary artists, the Nasher Sculpture Center commissioned an installation by Syrian-born, American artist Diana Al-Hadid. Sightings: Diana Al-Hadid was on view at the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Corner Gallery from October 22, 2011 through January 15, 2012.
The work of Al-Hadid is, in many ways, about architecture. Her sculptures often recall built structures—cathedrals, pipe organs, towers, labyrinths, cities—yet are made of simple, often delicate or fragile materials, such as polymer gypsum, plaster, fiberglass, wood, polystyrene, cardboard, wax, and paint, commonly found in art and industrial supply shops. Notes Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick: “Diana Al-Hadid creates breathtaking sculptures that surprise us by their unusual forms, unconventional use of materials, and distinctive range of reference and allusion. Her innovative work opens up new ground for the form and meaning of sculpture.”
The sculptures have the appearance of unfinished buildings or archeological remains, and it is often difficult to discern if they are in the process of construction or collapse. Ranging in scale from the human to the architectural, her work references a diverse set of interests, including Arab and Greek mythology, Gothic and Middle Eastern architecture, cosmology and physics.
Despite their personal and intellectual origins, it is their physical presence and ephemeral materiality that make the sculptures powerful, universally understandable evocations of the human condition. For Sightings, Al-Hadid created a new work for the spaces of the Nasher Sculpture Center. Conceived by its architect, Renzo Piano, as a kind of elegant, modern archeological site, the Nasher provided an ideal foil for Al-Hadid’s sculptural musings on architectural ruins.