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Diana Al-Hadid's Studio Boom

August 3, 2012

Can growing a business and maturing as an artist go hand in hand? In this film, artist Diana Al-Hadid and her crew of dedicated assistants strike a balance between work and play while finishing a new sculpture on a tight deadline. Filmed over several months at Al-Hadid’s studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the collaborative team of young artists devote long hours towards the completion of Nolli’s Orders (2012) for its debut in the Invisible Cities exhibition at MASSMoCA.

In a year marked by rapid growth in the studio, Al-Hadid keeps pace with the demand for her massive sculptures by enlarging her workspace, teaching specialized sculptural techniques to others, and making efficient use of time and resources. Charting the expansion of her operation over the years—from working alone in a small space to renovating and managing a floor of artist studios for additional income—Al-Hadid’s artistic ambitions are made possible by her ability to create an enjoyable, yet highly productive working environment, and to problem-solve on a grand scale. As moving day steadily approaches, Al-Hadid and her team create a manual detailing the complex assembly instructions for Nolli’s Orders, slowly dismantle and crate the intricate sculpture, and clear out the studio to begin work on the next project.

More information and credits

Credits

Art21 New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Brad Kimbrough. Cinematography: John Marton, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Sound: Scott Fernjack, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Amanda Long & Tida Tippapart. Design & Graphics: Open. Artwork: Diana Al-Hadid. Thanks: Loren Alliston, Jonathan deSimone, Drew Dudak, Sarah Faitell, Dennis Harvey, Nicholas Joyce, Yeji Lee, MASS MoCA, Ryan Muller, Paul Pino, Platypus Fine Art, Jack Samels, United Van Lines. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Diana Al-Hadid

Diana Al-Hadid was born in 1981 in Aleppo, Syria. She was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and currently lives and works in New York. Al-Hadid’s large-scale sculptures and wall hangings are the outcome of process-based investigations into materials, including fiberglass, polymer, steel, and plaster. Exploiting the innate tension between mass and gravity, Al-Hadid is particularly interested in the point at which her works are fixed to the ground, often seeking to create what she describes as “something that seems improbable.”

Diana Al-Hadid

6:11
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6:41
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“When I first moved to New York, my studio was maybe 700 square feet. I made sculptures within inches of the walls; it was really difficult, especially for the work that I made.”

Diana Al-Hadid

In the Studio

4:10
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3:10
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Mary Heilmann

4:16
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Susan Rothenberg