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, panel works, and works on paper are built up with layers of material and history. Her rich, formal allusions cross cultures and disciplines, drawing inspiration, not only from the history of distant civilizations, but also from histories of the materials themselves.
Al-Hadid’s 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, Al-Hadid’s large-scale sculptures blend figurative and architectural elements into elusive objects that decontextualize the historical circumstances they reference. Evolving from material studies of her sculptures, Al-Hadid’s three-dimensional wall panels emphasize the artist’s quick gestural brushwork. Described by Al-Hadid as “somewhere between fresco and tapestry,” her unique process is entirely additive. Holes and gaps form not from puncture, but through controlled dripping, methodically reinforced such that the image dictates the structure. These works have been made as hanging objects, architectural interventions, and most recently as outdoor installation.
She was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1981 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 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 in 2005, and 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 USA Rockefeller Fellow. Her mosaic murals for NYC’s Penn Station were among 100 finalists for CODAawards, an international competition honoring public commissions that integrate interior, architectural, or public spaces. In 2020, she received The Academy of Arts and Letters Art Award.
Al-Hadid has had solo exhibitions at the The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY in collaboration with Madison Square Park, NY, The Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, 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, Spain, the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
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, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC, and the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA.