press release

Diana Al-Hadid's sculptures are constructed in Baroque architectural forms, such as towers, mazes and church organs, which appear to be in ruins. Using materials like cardboard, plywood, plaster and resin, her works are replete with influences from and references to ancient Biblical and mythological narratives, both Eastern and Western, Arabic oral traditions, Gothic architecture, Western icon painting, Islamic decoration and scientific advances in physics and astronomy. In the words of Anne Ellegood, her sculptures are like the "silent catastrophes" of Robert Smithson, moments of disaster and decline frozen in time and space. Her enormous and tremendously elaborate sculptural constructions become what the artist herself calls "impossible architectures".

Diana Al-Hadid's journey begins in Brooklyn, where she lives and works, and extends via Madrid, Murcia and Mallorca. It is a journey in which this Syrian-born artist seeks the Islamic roots of what was once Mursiya. Her visits to the Museo de Santa Clara, a former Hudi palace and an excellent example of the period of transition between Almohad and Nasrid art, and to Murcia cathedral, consecrated in 1467, are essential references underlying the conception of this show.

Al-Hadid's journey focused not only on discovering a city containing traces of its Islamic past but also echoes of an earlier life; works from the past began to resonate in her memory, becoming postcards from previous journeys of references that she saw everywhere, curiously, during her visit to Murcia.

The exhibition comprises five large-scale sculptures dating from between 2006 and 2010 and a sixth created for this show following her Spanish odyssey just this year.

Diana Al-Hadid
Play the Wolf Fifth