Diana Al-Hadid's first major public project Delirious Matter is now on view in Madison Square Park and consists of six new sculptures installed across the park's central Oval Lawn, peripheral lawns, and northern reflecting pool. Two large free-standing panels, Gradiva and The Grotto, are combined with hedgerows to form a room that suggests the elegiac beauty of deteriorating structures nestled into plant material. Three reclining female figures, titled Synonym, sit on plinths and are displayed on the surrounding lawns. In the park’s reflecting pool, the artist has realized a site-specific sculptural bust of a female figure perched atop a fragmented mountain. Al-Hadid is best known for creating work using traditional and contemporary materials and processes in unfamiliar ways that pivot amongst architecture, figuration, and abstraction. Despite the eroded appearance, the process is additive. Al-Hadid devised a distinctive process that is, in her words, “a blend between fresco and tapestry” that is especially descriptive of sculptures Gradiva and The Grotto. Further, she often recalls Eastern or Western art historical, architectural or scientific inspiration, and even Citadel is inspired by a Hans Memling painting from the 15th century. Delirious Matter is the first public project by the artist and the first Conservancy commission to unite sculpture with plant materials.
(Photo: © Diana Al-Haldid)