Exhibition in Nashville by Provocative Artist Diana Al-Hadid
Frist Art Museum in Nashville recently opened Diana Al-Hadid: Sublimations. Visually extravagant and conceptually provocative, Diana Al-Hadid’s sculptures, wall panels, and drawings are inspired by a range of sources, from art and architectural history to mythology and literature from around the world. Transforming the vestiges of such inheritances into improvised assemblages, intricate fields of dripping gypsum, and partially articulated human figures, Al-Hadid meditates on cycles of dissipation and renewal within and among cultures. Just as the word sublimation denotes a chemical transformation from one state of being into another, her work suggests changes wrought by time, as substance mutates into sensation and thought.
Works in this exhibition revisit archetypal narratives that depict the female body in psychologically limiting terms, which Al-Hadid challenges, transforms, or dissolves. These legacies are often shaped by male desire and fantasy, inviting an alternate reading of sublimation as envisioned by Sigmund Freud, who used the word to define the transfer of energy from negative behavior—frequently involving unacceptable sexual impulses—to more wholesome outlets. In exploring these dual aspects of sublimation, Al-Hadid reimagines cultural legacies of complexity, irony, turbulence, and beauty.
The exhibition runs through September 2, 2019.