Lower Level Gallery
October 02, 2021 — February 06, 2022
Diana Al-Hadid’s work explores the interplay between the female body and the European art canon; Syrian, Muslim, and immigrant histories and mythologies; and architectural icons and the natural world. Born in 1981 in Aleppo, Syria, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Al-Hadid creates artworks that speak to her interest in the melding of cultures and the translation of disparate narratives. This monographic exhibition will consist of a selection of 13 sculptural works made between 2010 and 2021 brought into interpretive grouping for the first time. Together the sculptures identify the artist’s investigation of historical, mythological, and biblical narratives of women as a fundamental through-line of her practice.
While Al-Hadid’s work is often interpreted primarily in relation to her interest in the art historical canon, this show situates the artist’s deployment of these influences as advancing a network of feminist concerns: the female protagonist and its conflicted history, as well as women’s agency, power, and identity. The title refers to the artist’s ongoing interest in the incomplete nature of collective history and the palimpsest of narrative and information that constructs our sense of history; it also resists the monumentalizing (and ultimately, patriarchal and colonialist) idea of fixity and singularity. Instead, Al-Hadid foregrounds disruption and rupture in the endlessly woven fabric of our stories of self/the body, the migration of information and interpretation through space and time, and the fundamentally unfixed nature of human desire.
The exhibition is held in conjunction with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), a nationwide initiative of art projects that seek to generate cultural awareness of feminist thought, experience, and action.
A brochure with a curatorial essay, alongside installation images, will accompany the exhibition.
Diana Al-Hadid studied at Kent State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has held solo exhibitions at the Akron Museum of Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland; and Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, among others. She has shown work in group exhibitions at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada; Columbus Museum of Art; DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln; Tampa Museum of Art; and Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Jose Museum of Art; Speed Art Museum, Louisville; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.