August 28, 2018

Fall 2018 Public Lecture Series

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

Diana Al-Hadid, Gradiva, 2015. Photo: Object Studies. Courtesy of the artist & Marianne Boesky Gallery.

Diana Al-Hadid embodies contradictions. Her sculpture and wall-mounted pieces are at once methodical and audacious, rigorous and ethereal, monumental and mysterious. From simple, everyday materials—such as resin, plywood, plaster and cardboard—she builds complex, architecturally scaled works that seem to dissolve before the viewer’s eyes.

At 6:30pm Wednesday, September 5, Al-Hadid will discuss her practice as part of the Bunny and Charles Burson Distinguished Visiting Lecture for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. The free talk will launch the school’s fall public lecture series. In all, the series will feature seven presentations by nationally and internationally known artists, architects, curators and designers.

Born in Aleppo, Syria, Al-Hadid immigrated to Ohio with her family at age 5 and currently lives in Brooklyn. Her work frequently evokes the classical world, with influences ranging from ancient frescoes and Islamic miniatures to Renaissance painting, while her densely layered drips and textures can suggest Arabic calligraphy, textile patterns and building ornament.

“I was educated by Modernist instructors in the Midwest,” she has said, “but also was raised in an Islamic household with a culture that very much prizes narrative and folklore.”

This summer, Al-Hadid unveiled six new public sculptures commissioned for New York’s Madison Square Park. Her work also has been featured in solo shows at Brown University, Abu Dhabi University, the Akron Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the Vienna Secession in Austria and the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Murcia, Spain, among others.

The Sam Fox School’s public lecture series will continue September 24 with visiting artist Enrique Martínez Celaya. Other lectures will include architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (October 24); architect Winka Dubbeldam (October 31); urban theorist Richard Sennett (November 1); Museum of Modern Art curator Leah Dickerman (November 14); and Iranian artist, activist, and educator Morehshin Allahyari (November 28).

All talks are free and open to the public and begin at 6:30pm in Steinberg Hall Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. Each will be preceded by a reception at 6pm.

Public lecture series

September 5
Diana Al-Hadid
Artist, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Bunny and Charles Burson Distinguished Visiting Lecture

September 24
Enrique Martínez Celaya
Artist; Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College; Fellow, Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities
Arthur L. and Sheila Prensky Island Press Visiting Artist Lecture

October 24
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
Founding partners, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, New York
CannonDesign Lecture for Excellence in Architecture and Engineering

October 31
Winka Dubbeldam
Founder, Archi-Tectonics, New York
Harris Armstrong Fund Lecture

November 1
Richard Sennett
Professor emeritus of sociology, London School of Economics
University Professor, New York University
Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture

November 14
Leah Dickerman
Director of editorial & content strategy, Museum of Modern Art, New York

November 28
Morehshin Allahyari
Artist, Brooklyn, New York
Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture
Supported in part through funding from the Office of the Provost: Distinguished Visiting Scholar

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