The San Jose Museum of Art will present an exhibition of work by Diana Al-Hadid, February 24 – September 24, 2017. Diana Al-Hadid: Liquid City will showcase Al-Hadid’s monumental sculpture Nolli’s Orders (2012). Also on view will be related works by the Syrian-American artist as well as source materials, including the landmark 1748 map of Rome by Giambattista Nolli (1701 – 1756).
Nolli’s Orders, a multi-tiered thirteen feet-high sculpture, will anchor SJMA’s central skylight gallery like a baroque fountain in a Roman Piazza. Its title refers to Nolli’s Nuova pianta di Roma [New Map of Rome] (1748), the first map of its kind to show the both the public and private spaces of the city. Fascinated by such boundaries, Al-Hadid draws on a variety of art-historical and scientific references to explore the spaces between the real and imagined, interior and exterior, two-dimensional mark-making and three-dimensional sculpture, the ruin and the not-yet-completed. In a uniquely improvised process, she manipulates everyday materials of polymer gypsum (a polymer-modified plaster), fiberglass, and tin foil to form, in her words, “impossible architectures.” Though the rough surface suggests erosion, the process is in fact entirely additive: she builds up of layers of paint and polymer gypsum strengthened with steel.
“One of the things that makes Diana’s work so rich is the breadth and diversity of sources that she draws from, lifting and recombining elements from cartography, art history, and architecture in her own, idiosyncratic way,” said Lauren Schell Dickens, curator. “Her work reflects a sense of irresolution, uncertainty, and imagination that really resonates with the world today,”
The exhibition will open on Thursday, February 23, with a lecture by Al-Hadid at 7 PM, followed by an opening reception from 8 PM to 9 PM. Liquid City is accompanied by a 12-page illustrated brochure featuring an essay by Dickens.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria, raised in Ohio, and now is based in Brooklyn. Al-Hadid received her BFA in sculpture and art history from Kent State University, Ohio, and her MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. Her solo exhibition Diana Al-Hadid, organized by the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane, Tulane University, New Orleans, is currently on view at Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, California, through March 13, 2017. Previous solo exhibitions have included The Vienna Secession, Austria; The Canzani Center, Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Spain; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Liquid City is organized by Lauren Schell Dickens, curator, San Jose Museum of Art. The exhibition is sponsored by the Myra Reinhard Family Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Tad and Jackson Freese and Wanda Kownacki.
Also on view at SJMA this spring are two exhibitions that reflect on the precious and public nature of water. After years of drought in California, these issues are at the forefront of political, social, legal, and artistic activism. Coming up will be Fragile Waters: Photographs by Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly (March 17, 2017 – August 6, 2017) and The Darkened Mirror: Global Perspectives on Water (April 7, 2017 – August 27, 2017), which features video installation work by Gerco de Ruijter , Vibha Galhotra, Jesper Just, and Khvay Samnang, and an interactive installation by Amy Balkin et al.
SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART
The San Jose Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection. 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, San Jose, California. For more information visit http://SanJoseMuseumofArt.org/exhibition/diana-al-hadid-liquid-city.