JAN 18–MAR 13, 2016
The sculptures and paintings of Syrian-born and Ohio-raised Diana Al-Hadid (1981- ) appear to be trapped in an eternal moment of precariousness and decay. Inspired by historical forms from art and architecture, Al-Hadid’s highly material works are charged with drips, textures, patterns, and ornaments that recall Arabic calligraphy and Islamic textile patterns.
The exhibition is a focused look at Al-Hadid’s artistic practice, featuring recent large-scale sculptures, wall constructions, and drawings. The works have been described as metaphorical “bridges” between the past and the present, as well as cultural bridges between the Middle Eastern world of Al-Hadid’s early childhood and the Western world she now inhabits.
Works in the exhibition draw from Duccio di Buoninsegna’s The Temptation of Christ on the Mountain (1308-11) and Jacopo Pontormo’s The Deposition from the Cross (1528), as well as folkloric and mythological stories. Her use of industrial materials (rebar, plaster, polymer gypsum, polystyrene, and fiberglass) in addition to textiles, cardboard, paint, and pigments, yields works that are firmly grounded in contemporary idioms.
JAN 18–MAR 13, 2016
ELENA DORFMAN: SYRIA’S LOST GENERATION
Through portraiture and audio recordings, Elena Dorfman (1965- ) offers a humanistic perspective to the Syrian conflict, a global crisis that has claimed more than 470,000 lives and driven 6.5 million people from their homes.
On assignment with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2013, Dorfman documented exiled Syrians in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Syria’s Lost Generation documents a small fraction of a population disproportionately affected by the war: teenagers. Dorfman was drawn most strongly to Syrian youth, explaining, “They seemed particularly shell-shocked and bereft... they spoke to me of powerful longing and frustration.” Suffering physical and psychological ills, facing uncertain futures, and fearful of retaliation, the individual appearing in these works presented themselves to Dorfman with the hope their stories would be told.
The ten-month project built on her previous work as a documentarian—in particular, The C-Word (1998), a photographic series of teenagers living with cancer—and her background as a portraiture photographer for publications such as The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, and Fortune.