Art21 New York Close Up

NYCU | Diana Al-Hadid’s Suspended Reality

Diana Al-Hadid, "Suspended After Image" (2012), installed at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, 2012. Production still from the "New York Close Up" film, "Diana Al-Hadid's Suspended Reality". © Art21, Inc. 2013.

Diana Al-Hadid, “Suspended After Image,” 2012. Installed at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, 2012. Production still from the New York Close Up film, Diana Al-Hadid’s Suspended Reality. © Art21, Inc. 2013.

How does an artist resist reality?

In this film, artist Diana Al-Hadid creates sculptures and drawings that embrace illusionism and the unknown, culminating in the exhibition The Vanishing Point (2012) at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York. “I want to explore the limits of my own thinking,” says Al-Hadid. The artist begins with a careful study of her materials—wax, clay, fiberglass, and bronze—and then experiments in her Williamsburg studio, getting the materials to “misbehave.” Looking to Renaissance and Mannerist artists such as Robert Campin, Hans Memling, and Jacopo da Pantormo, Al-Hadid finds inspiration for her sculptures in the way paintings take liberties with the laws of physics. “For me to get a sculpture to lift off the floor…that’s the first way to rebel,” says the artist. Al-Hadid also reveals how her work evolved from realist drawings, done as a child, to her current sculptures and drawings made from the slow buildup of layers. Featuring the works Blind Bust III (2012), Untitled (2012), At the Vanishing Point (2012), Divided Line (2012), Antonym (2012), and Suspended After Image (2012).

Diana Al-Hadid (b. 1981, Allepo, Syria; raised in Cleveland, Ohio, USA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Watch the full film below.

CREDITS | New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Cinematography: Nick Lindner, Amanda Long, John Marton, Wesley Miller, Nick Ravich & Andrew David Watson. Sound: Scott Fernjack, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Amanda Long & Tida Tippapart. Design: Crux Studio & Open. Artwork: Diana Al-Hadid. Additional Artwork & Music: Robert Campin, Hans Memling, Jacopo da Pantormo, Unknown Master, Wu Tang Clan. Thanks: Khouloud Al-Hadid, Marianne Boesky, Paul Pino, Serra Pradhan & Ted Riederer. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved.

New York Close Up is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; Toby Devan Lewis; Lambent Foundation; the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.; and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc. Additional support provided by The 1896 Studios & Stages, and by individual contributors.


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