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'Pangaea's Blanket,' Art of New York's Diana Al-Hadid, at DePauw October 4 - November 5

September 23, 2006

Also: 'Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia,' August 23-December 8

Immodest Mountain full view.jpgSeptember 23, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - "Pangaea's Blanket: Diana Al-Hadid," a room-sized, mixed media installation created by the New York-based artist, will be on view at DePauw University's Richard E. Peeler Art Center from October 4 through November 5, 2006. On the exhibition's opening day, the artist will talk at a 4 p.m. reception. The public is invited to attend both the exhibition and reception free of charge. (at left: Immodest Mountain, 2006; mixed media installation, courtesy of the artist)

Born in Syria and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Diana Al-Hadid uses fiberglass planes, or �membranes,� to create large-scale installations that outline and organize space and create the appearance of fragile landscapes. These large-scale installations function as imaginary places that refer to architecture, set design, and the baroque, and depict a variety of forms and geological events that suggest the expansion and formation of geological time. While they are suggestive of slowly evolving landmasses, they also allude to highly ornate Finally, the Emancipation of Schehrezade (front IMG_0698).jpgand fragile interior spaces and gratuitously opulent environments, which the viewer can often traverse.

In Pangaea's Blanket, a room-sized installation commissioned for DePauw University's Richard E. Peeler Art Center, Al-Hadid will create a hovering blanket of undulating, white "membranes" in the shape of Pangaea, the supercontinent that is said to have existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras, before the process of plate tectonics separated each of the component continents into their current configuration. (at right: Finally, the Emacipation of Scheherazade, 2006; mixed media, courtesy of the artist)

Al-Hadid's installations have been described as alternate universes spurred by the substances and histories of this world, but misinterpreting those points of reference and acting as examples from the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, which purports that, in addition to the world we are aware of directly, there are many other similar worlds which exist in parallel at the same space and time. As the artist states: "My installations are propositions for an imaginary world. They are places that have a sense of believability without recognition and rely on their own internal logic. If I can't have an inherent contradiction, I'll take an apparent one."

Diana Al-Hadid received her MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005. Recently she participated in the Bronx Museum's Artists-in-the-Marketplace program, and was the artist-in-residence at the Sculpture Space Residency in Utica, New York. Al-Hadid's work has been included in exhibitions at the Keith Talent Gallery (London); the Kim Foster Gallery (New York); Skylab (Cleveland); the Bronx Museum (New York); Vox Populi (Philadelphia); and the Arlington Arts Center (Washington, D.C.). Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Cleveland Free Times and Washington Post. Al-Hadid currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

The galleries at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday 1 - 5 p.m. For more information about special events associated with this exhibition, visit the Peeler Center online.

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