Selected works by Diana Al-Hadid

Diana Al-Hadid
The Tower of Infinite Problems


Polymer gypsum, steel, plaster, fibreglass, wood, polystyrene, cardboard, wax and paint

241.3 x 442 x 251.5 cm
Diana Al-Hadid is a Syrian-American artist who lives and works in New York. Her sculptures take ‘towers’ as their central theme, drawing together a wide variety of associations: power, wealth, technological and urban development, ideas of progress and globalism. They are also – both in legends such as the Tower of Babel, and reality, such as the horrors of the World Trade Centre attacks – symbols of the problems of cultural difference and conflict. Al-Hadid’s Tower of Infinite Problems poses as a toppled skyscraper. Made from crude materials such as plaster, Styrofoam, wax, and cardboard, her structure is a monument to human fallibility. Sprawling on the floor like an imaginary archaeological find, the sculpture places the viewer in a fictional role as futuristic observer, mourning the tragic follies of a past (our current) civilization. If viewed from the end, the two parts of the structure converge in an optical illusion, creating a spiral vortex suggesting a cyclical repetition of history.
Diana Al-Hadid
Self Melt (and 6 details)


Polymer gypsum, steel, polystyrene, cardboard, wax and paint

147.3 x 142.3 x 190.5 cm
Al–Hadid’s geometric forms attempt to bridge mystical and scientific understandings of the world. As intensely patterned and detailed structures, her works draw from the traditions of Islamic art, where abstract motifs are used to encourage contemplation of God’s infinite wisdom. An ‘infinite wisdom’ that is also the focus of the particle physics research being done at the Large Hadron Collider – a 17 mile tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border – where scientists are attempting to locate the “God Particle” by reproducing the Big Bang. In Self Melt the top section of the sculpture is based on Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1556 painting The Tower of Babel. Presented upside down, the ziggurat becomes an inverted form, like an hourglass turning back time, suggesting a reversal of cultural diaspora. Through its rough hewn and barbaric appearance – reminiscent of a geological formation or frozen asteroid - Self Melt points to a mythological point of origin, where diversity and itsconsequences are supernaturally preordained.
Diana Al-Hadid
All The Stops (and 2 details)


Cardboard, wood, metal, plastic & paint

264.2 x 172.7 x 142.2 cm

Al-Hadid has described her work as "impossible architecture". All The Stops envisions a palatial structure, utilising stylistic elements from a variety of incongruous periods from medieval churches to futuristic stadiums. Shaping her work like an upturned trumpet, musical references are found throughout the piece: broken onceglorious columns are made from plastic recorders, decorative tiers are shingled with tiny piano keys. The spindly architecture suggests
the evasive quality of sound, with each level contributing to a sense of harmonic rhythm. The building however, is presented as a ruin, empty and desolate, its decrepit power culminating in an eerily silent crescendo.

Other Resources
Additional images and information – Diana Al-Hadid
Various and images – Diana Al-Hadid
Artist’s website, information on recent projects, selected images
Representing gallery – recent shows with Diana Al-Hadid, selected images, press releases from past shows and additional biographical information
Galerie Michael Janssen in Berlin, representing gallery. Selected images and past and current exhibition information
Images of works on show at Priska Juschka Fine Art
The subject of Diana Al-Hadid’s new exhibition, which opened yesterday at Perry Rubenstein Gallery and runs through October 9, is what she calls "impossible architecture." In four intricately constructed, large-scale sculptural installations and a series of related drawings, she imagines fusions of the labyrinth at Crete and the Tower of Babel, each a tragic case of unrestrained ambition that, through its own undoing, amounts to what Hadid refers to as an "argument against infinity."
Stepping into the Perry Rubenstein Gallery in New York City is a little like stumbling upon a musical shipwreck. Diana Al-Hadid has used plaster, fiberglass, wood, polystyrene, and cardboard to create a romantically ramshackled and dilapidated sculpture, "Record of a Mortal Universe," which is based on the phenomenon of a hero's collapse.
Born in Syria and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Diana Al-Hadid uses fiberglass planes, or “membranes,” to create large-scale installations that outline and organize space and create the appearance of fragile landscapes.
Additional information and links for Diana Al-Hadid