SCAD Museum of Art (South Carolina)

It is September 20th and champagne is settling in chilled, fluted glasses. Relish trays circle the museum floor, and a dark haired woman stands up to speak.

It is September 20th and the civil war in Syria has been declared a stalemate. Both sides have splintered into packs of wild dogs, and the preservation of the country’s cultural sites has become another battlefield altogether.

It is September 20th and the dark haired woman stands. Her new show opens at the SCAD museum in Savannah, yet she connects hundreds of people in the space to a world over 50,000 miles away—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Many publications spend a great deal of time solely on her Syrian background, and though she admits a large number of her pieces are devoted to joining both Eastern and Western cultures, she is even more vocal about her other influences–and rightly so. Just as a female artist doesn’t want her work known simply for feminist issues, Al-Hadid fears history will pigeon hole her due to a single aspect of her life.

It is September 20th. One day the war in Syria will end, but it is not today. Wounds will heal, buildings will be remade, and though it was not her intention, Al-Hadid’s work will remain a wary reminder, and an exquisite warning, frozen forever in her nation’s period of violence.


The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

MOCA’s presentation was made possible by endowment support from the Sydney Irmas Exhibition Endowment. Major support was provided by Andre Sakhai. Audrey M. Irmas, Wonmi and Kihong Kwon, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Carol and David Appel, Blake Byrne, Galerie Gisela Capitain, David and Susan Gersh, Mark Fisch, The Margaret and Daniel Loeb-Third Point Foundation, Lois G. Rosen, Christina and Mark Siegel, Elizabeth Swofford, Sheridan Brown, Tim Nye and Foundation 20 21, Edward M. Israel, and John Morace and Tom Kennedy.

MOCA’s mission is to be the defining museum of contemporary art. The institution has achieved astonishing growth in its brief history—with three Los Angeles locations of architectural renown; more than 13,500 members; a world-class permanent collection of nearly 6,000 works international in scope and among the finest in the nation.

Major highlights of MOCA’s 2009 acquisitions include: Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor) (1999), a video work by Bruce Nauman from Alan S. Hergott and Curt Shephard; Christmas Flood (1994), a major sculpture from Eileen and Michael Cohen by Jennifer Pastor, who was the subject of a MOCA Focus series exhibition at MOCA in 1996; and three outstanding gifts from Kourosh Larizadeh and Luis Pardo—Untitled (From a Little Girl’s Room) (1980), a diptych drawing by Mike Kelley; Untitled (2004), a wallpaper drawing by MOCA Focus artist Lisa Lapinski, and Untitled (…On Love) (2007), a large painted loveseat sculpture by Rodney McMillian, a Los Angeles–based artist who was featured in MOCA’s Painting in Tongues exhibition.