Perry Rubenstein Gallery is pleased to present Diana Al-Hadid’s solo exhibition REVERSE COLLIDER at both of the gallery’s locations (527 W 23rd Street and 534 W 24th Street). The main gallery on 23rd Street will feature four sculptures and one large-scale wall piece; drawings and studies built up from this body of work will be shown at the 24th Street space.
Al-Hadid has created an integrated installation for her first major solo show in New York. Largely inspired by the story of the Tower of Babel and the architecture of labyrinths, Al-Hadid sites these references as prime examples of a hypothetical archetypal architecture that is the essence of sculptural space. For her, the labyrinth is a tangible map that unfolds, architecture of continual movement without chambers promoting a passage or meditation. The largest sculpture in the exhibition uses the labyrinth found on the floor of the Cathedral of Chartres as an extruded blueprint for a toppled tower loosely based on Brueghel’s famous 16th Century painting of the Tower of Babel.
The exhibition’s title touches upon the artist’s fascination with nuclear and astrophysics, most pointedly the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), an underground structure at the Franco Swiss border where scientists are attempting to recreate the second after the Big Bang in search of, among other things, a particle dubbed “the god particle.” The notion of tracery, uninterrupted lines, and a focused mission to reach a core or a center is the link to the goal or objective of these two ambitious scientific (the LHC) and spiritual (Babel) enterprises—the undertakings of these colossal structures are meant to locate the most central questions of the universe. Both are a human effort to reach these very difficult and impossible places. Al-Hadid’s Reverse Collider represents a modern day Babel of sorts–an attempt to bridge the ancient connection and today’s research in order to examine the collapse or decomposition of Western notions of progress, perfection, and stability.
Al-Hadid constructs sculptural installations combining materials such as polystyrene, plaster, and fiberglass in order to create narrative objects. The seemingly impossible constructions evoke a feeling of instability and unrest, which forms a sharp contrast to her intricate process and the immediacy of her sturdy materials. Al-Hadid’s pointed and varied references unfold within the work to meld the universal with the personal. Cultural iconography gives way to clues about her biography as the works interlace place, history and self.
Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1981 and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received an MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, a BFA in sculpture and a BA in Art History from Kent State University. She has participated in numerous residencies, most recently at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture. In 2008, her work has been included in the group show Yellow Bile, Red Humour: Aspects of Melancholy, curated by Oliver Zybok, Center for Arts and Culture, Montabaur, Germany. Past exhibitions include: AIM 26 at the Bronx Museum of Arts (2006), Blood Meridian at Michael Janssen, Berlin, curated by David Hunt (2007), and Agitation and Repose, curated by Gregory Volk and Sabine Russ, at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, NY (2007).