Stepping into the Weatherspoon art museum on UNCG’s campus, one immediately notices the new addition to the outside sculptures near the entrance. Diana Al-Hadid, a contemporary artist from Syria has made her impression on the sculpture community with her pieces that include: bronze, paint, aluminum foil, fiberglass wood and several other properties that create large scale pieces.
As I walked through the rest of the exhibition in the upstairs gallery I noticed how gothic and haunting each of her sculptures were as they seemed to float above the ground while also seeming stable and concrete. Each of her pieces appeared to be alive with paint and texture while also revolving around the theme of architecture in an abstract way.
From the first moment I stepped into the space I was completely in awe of the sculptures that stood out in the white room; their unusual forms, distinct references and use of creative materials all came together to create haunting 3D pieces.
In the piece, First Trace of a Fictional Third, the viewer is mesmerized by the vast size of the piece and also by the hidden figures inside of the sculpture. The dripping affect caused by the materials make the piece seem out of the ordinary and the complete opposite of what it is actually made out of. As a viewer, I had to stop myself from touching the textured strings of material that hung down from the sides. There are two headless figures on this piece, one on the floor and one resting at the top. The title suggests that the viewer is the fictional third, a character that is able to travel around the piece rather than staying stagnant with no identity.
The piece to the left Tomorrow Superstitions, is reminiscent of a building under construction or a dilapidated piece of structure. This artwork was my favorite by far because of its medium size compared to the rest of the rather large sculptures. The viewer was able to take in the entire piece rather than be consumed by it. The various other pieces in the gallery seemed to be lost because of the various sections that I was unable to see because of its height and great form. This particular piece is also the most recognizable when relating to the real world in my opinion. Its structure is similar to a building under construction instead of being extremely abstract like the larger pieces; the materials vaguely created forms of people and the lumps of texture were all gathered in layers on top of one another.
I feel as if Al-Hadid’s sculptures belong out in the real world somewhere, a replica of an old cathedral or a forgotten building in a congested city. As a photo major, I viewed these sculptures as models from the outside world, as a piece to photograph and create into the form of an image. Al-Hadid’s exhibition, “turns a world upside down” with her unique materials and unusual connections to haunting architecture.
The exhbition will be open until May 5 2013. You can check out her website here!