Diana Al-Hadid's monumental sculpture Nolli's Orders (2012) will anchor the SJMA's central skylight gallery like a baroque fountain enlivening a public piazza in Rome. Referring to Giambattista Nolli's 1748 map of Rome, the sculpture brings together themes from architecture, the history of art, and urban planning. The Syrian-American artist reimagines Renaissance and classical monuments and figures as sculptures that seem to disintegrate and drip. In doing so she questions established notions of Western European culture and its relevance to contemporary life across the globe.
Born in Aleppo, Syria and raised in Ohio, Diana Al-Hadid’s work is preoccupied with the notion of boundaries, public and private spaces, and displacement and migration. Her massive sculpture, “Nolli’s Orders,” 2012, commands the central skylight gallery. Its title references Giambattista Nolli’s 1748 map of Rome, the first of its kind to map public spaces throughout the city.