By Natalie Edwards, Washington University in St. Louis
Originally published in the 2018 print edition.
In the 18th century, Giovanni Battista Piranesi found the abandoned forums and crumbling temples of ancient Rome to be so suggestive that he described them as “speaking ruins” whose beauty and force could not be captured by even the most accurate drawings—they had to be experienced.1 In her 2012 sculpture Nolli’s Orders, Syrian American artist Diana Al-Hadid brings the ruin into the gallery space. This sculpture is not only evocative of ruins, but is, conceptually, made of the ruins of art from Western Europe and the Arab world, making it a work that reflects both upon its origins and its form, as well as on history, religion, space, and time. Al-Hadid uses the genre of ruins to create an impossible, unbounded sculpture that exists in a limitless space where disparate chronological periods, cultures, and artistic influences come together like actors on a stage who, once brought to life by our presence and participation, live, die, and are reborn in a timeless drama.
It was the limitless quality of the genre that drew Al-Hadid to sculpture. Her monumental 360-degree creations rebel against the traditional boundary between sculpture and architecture. Al-Hadid describes her works as “impossible architecture”—freed from the limitations of “functional spaces,” her forms are “hypothetical [and] structurally impossible.”2 Al-Hadid’s working methods are hardly conventional; she prefers wood and steel to marble, and while many of her sculptures may resemble ancient ruins, every piece is handmade.
At the base of Nolli’s Orders, four white plywood cubes spring from pointed arches, extending upward into the center of this pyramidal sculpture. The white cubes mimic the white-walled, white-ceilinged gallery spaces institutionalized by the Museum of Modern Art in the 1930s.3 In short, these cubes remind us that we are viewing a contemporary art object. The series of pointed arches that wrap around the base of each of the four pedestals are evocative of architectural ruins, though we do not know how to classify them as they lack any decorative features that might identify them with a particular architectural style. Pointed arches are a hallmark of both Islamic and Gothic architecture.
The white cubes extend only a few feet above the arches before their ascent is impeded by multi-color pigment-stained clouds that spill outward from the sculpture’s center and settle in clumps around the pedestals. Their edges extend beyond the sculpture’s supports, which produce the illusion of a hovering sculpture, while the bumpy, undulating surface creates an illusion of wavelike movement. Al-Hadid creates these shapes—which she refers to as “puddles”—by pouring polymer gypsum, a viscous casting material, into reservoirs of crumpled foil, causing it to harden into thin shells.4 At the center of Nolli’s Orders, thick clusters of polymer gypsum drips obscure steel rods that hold the multi-tiered structure together, furthering the illusion that the sculpture is floating. These drips are a recurring, defining feature of Al-Hadid’s work.5 Contemporary art critic Nick Stillman once described Al-Hadid’s polymer gypsum drips as a “molasses-like syrup that sullies the surfaces” of many of her sculptures.6 In Nolli’s Orders, these drips hang from every surface. Far from sullying the work, they bring it to life, leading us into the core of Nolli’s Orders as they vertically unify the sculpture while simultaneously threatening to dissolve all traces of mass. The theme of the ruin continues along the upper portion of the sculpture where five life-size headless figures stretch across the work, crisscrossing the sculpture in an X-shape, accenting its pyramidal form.
Al-Hadid named her sculpture after Giambattista Nolli, the 18th century Italian surveyor and architect famous for his 1748 Nuova Pianta Grande di Roma, the first ichnographic map produced in the modern era.7 Twelve engraved copper plates fit together to form the six-foot-high, seven-foot-wide map. To make the map, Nolli undertook a project that was unprecedented in size and scope, surveying both the exteriors and interiors of many of Rome’s public and private buildings. Previous Baroque-era maps, such as G.B. Falda’s 1676 Mappa della Città di Roma, had a tendency to represent the city from a bird’s-eye view.8 Nolli’s map exposes the fabric of the city, down to the architectural plans of hundreds of palazzos and churches. The publication of Nolli’s map enabled visitors and locals alike to penetrate the orders of the eternal city. These orders, or layers, are one of Rome’s most famous features. During the Renaissance, the first large-scale excavations of Rome brought the ancient past into the present: humanists, artists, and architects came from all over Europe to study Rome’s ancient ruins.9 Therefore, it is fitting that Al-Hadid would use Nolli’s name to tie her work to one of the world’s most famous cities of ruins.
As a young girl in Aleppo, Al-Hadid grew up in a city of ruins. In a 2014 interview, Al-Hadid explained her own lifelong fascination with architectural ruins, remarking that, “if you look at history at a close range the boundaries are so distinct, but when you pull back, you realize that in Aleppo, there are all kinds of Hellenistic ruins everywhere and different civilizations have left a footprint.”10 Aleppo is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and, for many centuries, was one of the most diverse. Conquered by the Greeks, Romans, Umayyads, Ayyubids, Mamluks, and, finally, the Ottomans, who transformed Aleppo into a center of international trade under their empire, Aleppo has historically been home to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim populations. Indeed, some Aleppo neighborhoods still adhere to their Graeco-Roman street plans. In the center of the city, 12th century mosques stand next to 6th century Christian churches while new buildings shade fragments of ancient temples.11
Since civil war broke out in 2011, Syria’s monuments have turned into ruins, not by competing architecture, development, or investment objectives, but by the chaos of war, as a dictator’s army destroys Syria’s cultural heritage. As recently as 2017, Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s former Director General of Antiquities and Museums, decried the actions of the hundreds of looters who plunder archaeological sites in broad daylight, destroying temples and pilfering buried treasure, leaving behind pockmarked sandscapes.12 Unlike the extremists and looters whose actions make ruins of both modern and ancient Syria, Al-Hadid’s ruin making is creative. While extremists wish to evacuate the art, architecture and the very culture that they fear and despise, and looters seek to monetize the terrorists’ passion while raiding temples and archaeological sites of their most valuable objects, artists like Al-Hadid defeat them, finding in all ruins the antecedent creative power that will continue to reveal itself as creation transmogrifies into Form.
This multi-level, multi-figure collage is not merely one sculpture but a conglomerate of multiple, disparate, and ruined forms. Robert Ginsberg defines a ruin as the “irreparable remains of a human construction that, by a destructive act or process, no longer dwells in the unity of the original, but may have its own unities that we can enjoy.”13 Al-Hadid is attracted to ruins precisely for this reason: ruins can embody limitless unities.
First shown at Mass MoCA’s “Invisible Cities” exhibition in 2012, the multi-tiered structure of Nolli’s Orders is evocative of the layers of an ancient city like Aleppo or Rome. Yet, it eschews the confines of a fixed identity. Like the pointed arches that define the horizontal buildings forming its base, the city cannot be easily identified as belonging to Western Europe or the Arab World. The sculpture is long and tall, but it does not feel heavy. Spaghetti-thin polymer gypsum drips hang from almost every edge, creating frames of empty spaces which give the sculpture a transparent quality. Up close, the architectural forms, tall cubes, and polymer gypsum clouds suggest the layers of a city. However, when viewed from across the room, the twenty-three-foot-long, ten-foot-high sculpture becomes unified and its multi-tiered triangular composition recalls the form of a Baroque fountain.
Nolli’s Orders bears striking resemblance to Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. The exhibition catalog for the San José Museum of Art’s 2017 Liquid City exhibition asserts that Nolli’s Orders “anchors” the gallery “like a Bernini fountain in a Roman piazza.”14 We cannot avoid picturing Bernini’s fountain as we walk around Al-Hadid’s massive sculpture. The waterlike polymer drips, the sculpture’s round, swirling form, and the use of human figures in Nolli’s Orders evoke Bernini’s fountain without fully representing it.
The headless figures that populate Nolli’s Orders appear incongruous and out of place in a work that otherwise resembles an architectural ruin. However, if we consider Nolli’s Orders as, in part, the ruins of Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, the placement of figures in this architectural space begins to make sense. The specific pyramidal arrangement of figures around this sculpture ensures that viewers do not merely imagine Al-Hadid’s sculpture as a fountain, we envision Bernini’s fountain specifically. The river gods that accent each of the four corners of Bernini’s fountain are allegorical representations of the four known continents at the time—Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In Genesis, four rivers are mentioned in the Garden of Eden. The Gospel of John describes the River of Eden, which divides to form four rivers, as the river of life. According to Genesis, water can be both life-giving, as in the case of the River of Eden, and life taking, as in the case of the Great Flood (Genesis 2.10-14). In the Islamic faith, water is not only recognized as the source of life but fountains have a specific, symbolic meaning, alluding to the four rivers of Paradise mentioned in the Qur’an (Qur’an 47:15). The central fountain of a traditional mosque courtyard is a ritual center. According to the Qur’an, believers cannot enter a mosque and begin prayer without first visiting the fountain to perform a cleansing ritual. The ritual washing transforms believers from unclean to clean. Al-Hadid may well have been thinking of water’s ability to be both creative and destructive, purifying and transforming, when she created Nolli’s Orders.
Al-Hadid has drawn explicit connections between Western Europe and the Arab world before. In The Gradual Approach of My Disintegration (2006), Al-Hadid used two almost-touching plaster hands, reminiscent of the gesture made in Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, to connect a model of the 10th century Aleppo Citadel to a Corinthian column in a reflection on the ubiquity of Hellenistic ruins in modern day Syria.15 In Nolli’s Orders, the confluence of Christian and Muslim cultures is more subtle.
Fountains not only activate space, they also direct our movement around them. To adequately view Bernini’s fountain, we must circumambulate the structure in order to see and understand the allegorical significance of the River Gods that punctuate the fountain’s four corners. In all four of the exhibitions that have featured Nolli’s Orders, the sculpture was always placed at the center of a room, enabling visitors to experience the work in the round.16 The spiral form of Al-Hadid’s sculpture urges us to walk around it, mimicking the rotation of Muslim pilgrims around the Kaaba.17 Like a map, the sculpture directs our path. This ruin invites us to discover its many sides and forms, instructing us to carry out the steps of a ritual that brings Nolli’s Orders to life, not as a fountain, but as a ruin with multiple prototypes.
From across the room, Nolli’s Orders resembles a monumental Roman fountain but, if we stand on the sculpture’s left side and peer into its interior, we have the sensation of being a spelunker, burrowing deeper and deeper into the heart of an enormous cave—what once seemed like icicles now rise like stalagmites in the space between two clouds. Standing farther back, the hollow bottoms and sides of the mannequin-like figures are revealed; we have been tricked! As we walk around Bernini’s Fontana delle Quattro Fiumi, a view of each angle makes the whole work seem more complete, the water flows through and unites each of the Four River Gods, who mirror and respond to each other’s poses. Encircling the fountain makes it more comprehensible; seeing each of the four gods gives us more information and we are left feeling even more impressed by Bernini’s work. Circling Nolli’s Orders, we feel increasingly ill at ease. What may have looked like a pristine Baroque fountain from across the room is instead a pyramid of headless bodies and floating pedestals. Furthermore, the back of the sculpture reveals a work that is all form, all material, and little mass.
As we travel around to the sculpture’s reverse, we discover the ruins of its opposite side. The thin plaster figures are obscured by thin layers of shimmering cloudlike forms. These skeletal clouds lack bodies, suggesting, rather than representing, clouds. The human forms that captured our attention on the sculpture’s opposite side seem to have dissolved. What was once a stage for human action is now a vision of nature. It is as if we have skipped ahead in time to the moment after the watery drips dissolved the figures of Nolli’s Orders. Although the five figures are hardly visible from the back of Nolli’s Orders, the rear of this work does not strike us as a diminished version of the front; rather, it is a new landscape. We understand that this sculpture inhabits multiple times. Here, time returns to nature and takes over, it seeps into and wears away the solid forms. Water, both a destructive and creative force, erodes the sculpture’s original forms and leaves us with new ones. While contemporary critics seldom fail to mention the importance of water to Nolli’s Orders, they tend to limit their discussions of water to how the sculpture suggests the texture and form of water without considering it as the sculpture’s driving force.18 In a review of one of Al-Hadid’s shows, Kim Beil writes at length about the Renaissance influences behind Nolli’s Orders while making only passing reference to the role of water in the sculpture.19
Polymer gypsum drips extend in unbroken ribbons from one layer of the sculpture down to another and link the pieces of the sculpture together. At the same time, the drips form into puddles that threaten to dissolve and absorb the narrative, architectural, and figural elements of the sculpture into abstract mountains. Water is both the spiritually animating, enlivening force, as well as the physically unifying element. The waterdrop-like drips of polymer gypsum vertically stretch and unify the layers of the sculpture, hiding the rigid structure of its steel supports while, at the same time, the gaps between drips reveal its thin, transparent nature. As we move around this sculpture, it too moves, the death or “ruining” of one image giving life to another.
In a ruin, the dead and the living exist simultaneously. A ruin is, as Donatella Fiorani explains it, a “transitional object.”20 A ruin points in both directions—toward its original, whole form, and towards its future demise, mapped across its surface, visible in its cracks.21 The ruin’s existence in the present is a testament to its strength even though it comes to us in a reduced state compared to its original form. Nolli’s Orders is, simultaneously, an assemblage of the ruins of Western art, the cumulative ruin of Al-Hadid’s previous ruin sculptures, and the ruins of itself.
The sculpture cycles from death to new life not only aesthetically but also physically. Every time the sculpture is part of a different exhibition, it is disassembled, packed into boxes, and shipped along with an instruction booklet that provides picture and text instructions for its assemblers. When Al-Hadid first created this work in her Brooklyn studio, she built it up in parts knowing that, when she finished, she would have to disassemble it, part by part, to send it to a museum. Each addition to the sculpture was recorded and reenacted on a computer model, enabling the artist to create the instruction manual. From its beginnings, Nolli’s Orders anticipated its destruction and subsequent recreation. The contemporary gallery space, typically a white cube, is a space where “art exists in a kind of eternity of display,” giving the gallery a “limbolike status.”22 Given the process of reconstruction inherent in the work, the gallery space is an ideal setting for Al-Hadid’s created ruin.
Ruins index both growth and decay. Freed from the original, the ruin’s potential forms are inexhaustible. Simultaneously a fragment of the original, the ruin is a reminder of destruction. In a 2010 interview with Sasha Mann for the Hammer Museum, Al-Hadid explains her fascination with ruins and their “cross-cultural attraction.” She characterizes ancient ruins as “culturally nostalgic objects that carry with them a distinct psychological effect—one that seems to attract both descendants of that culture as well as members of distant cultures.”23 We identify with ruins because they, like us, though precarious, endure.24 Ruins belong to a different time. In the same 2010 interview, Al-Hadid mentions Robert Ginsberg’s assertion that the appeal of ruins is the appeal of nostalgia and that ruins are, inherently, “anachronistic and incongruous.” With Ginsberg, we cannot be nostalgic for something we have in the present.25 The universal appeal of ruins derives, paradoxically, from their inherent separateness from the present. Untethered to a specific slice of the present, ruins are free; a ruin can offer a small piece of itself to anybody.
The different parts of Nolli’s Orders do not fit together neatly like the twelve pieces of Nolli’s map. Assembling Nolli’s map renders a complex and sometimes opaque city comprehensible and transparent; the whole of the map is the exact sum of its parts. Nolli’s Orders, however, is both opaque and transparent, greater than the sum of its parts. Ruins are “transformative, not accumulative, in experience.”26 Forms morph from one identity into another like water cycles through a fountain. There is no clear order to Nolli’s Orders nor a true unified whole to be grasped. We are presented with a “liquid city” that models a universe that does not exist in static, ordered harmony but bursts into the present only to dissolve before us.
The figures that populate the sculpture are the mere shells of their prototypes, the subjects of various Northern Renaissance and Mannerist paintings, borrowed by Al-Hadid and inserted into Nolli’s Orders as decontextualized, broken bodies.27 On the reverse side of the sculpture, the figural ruins are dissolved by and merge into the drips and puddles that dominate this side of the sculpture. Like the Gothic or potentially Islamic arches, these figures simultaneously map to different prototypes. The parts of Al-Hadid’s sculpture belong both to painting and sculpture, to both Western Europe and the Arab world, and the realms of both the living and the dead.
Like the multilayered city of Rome, Nolli’s Orders is a universe of ruins. In fact, Nolli’s Orders is not really “about” what it claims to be about. The orders of a city (its ruins) are a focal point but, ultimately, the subject of this work is its own lifecycle, its birth and reformations—which is being itself. What is being if it is not “burning out and becoming a has-been”?28 The ruin reminds us that we are all living and dying at the same time, forms constantly being reformed. Nolli’s Orders is not merely a work of impossible architecture whose stacked, flowing forms seem to defy the laws of physics and violate the boundary between architecture and sculpture; it is in an important sense inarticulate, even invisible. As Piranesi found Rome to be a city of “speaking ruins” that had to be experienced, with Nolli’s Orders Diana Al-Hadid has rendered the concept of ruins beyond mere description or perception. In pursuit of Form, Nolli’s Orders reaches its fullest expression only in our minds.
1. “mi hanno riempiuto lo spirit queste parlanti ruine, che di simili non arrivai a potermene mai formare sopra I disegni, benché accuratissimi, che di queste stesse ha fatto l’immortale Palladio, e che io pur sempre mi teneva innanzi agli occhi.” For the complete quotation and an english translation, see Dorothea Nyberg, ed., Giovanni Battista Piranesi Drawings and Etchings (New York: Columbia University, 1972), 115-118.
2. In a 2016 interview with Buro 24/7 Middle East, Al-Hadid explained that while she is interested in “structure and material or spatial problem-solving,” she is “not interested in making functional spaces.” See Diana Al Hadid, “Inside Art: Exclusive Interview with Sculptor Diana Al Hadid,” by Faizal Dahlawia, Buro 24/7, January 17, 2016.
3. Abigail Cain, “How the White Cube Came to Dominate the Art World,” editorial, Artsy, last modified January 23, 2017, accessed April 11, 2018, https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-white-cube-dominate-art.
4. Diana Al-Hadid, “Conversations with Artists: Diana Al-Hadid” (lecture, University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, January 11, 2018).
5. In a review of Al-Hadid’s show at the Brown University Winton Bell Gallery in 2016, the reviewer noted that drips are “almost omnipresent in her work, giving her paintings and sculptures alike an almost post-apocalyptic feel.” See Diana Al-Hadid, “‘Phantom Limb’ Showcases Ruinous Forms,” interview by Ethel Renia, The Brown Daily Herald, last modified September 21, 2016, accessed December 10, 2017, http://www.browndailyherald.com/2016/09/21/phantom-limb-showcases-ruinous-forms/.
6. Nick Stillman, “Diana Al-Hadid: Perry Rubenstein Gallery,” review of Nolli’s Orders, by Diana Al-Hadid, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Artforum International, December 2008, 303.
7. Kim Beil, “Diana Al-Hadid: San Jose Museum of Art,” review of Nolli’s Orders, by Diana Al-Hadid, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, Artforum International, last modified August 2017, accessed April 7, 2018, https://www.artforum.com/picks/diana-al-hadid-69708.
8. Dorigen Caldwell and Lesley Caldwell, Rome: Continuing Encounters between Past and Present (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2011), 88.
9. Paul Zanker, “Le rovine romane e i loro osservatori,” in Relitti riletti: Metamorfosi delle rovine e identità culturale, ed. Marcello Barbanera (Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 2009), 258.
10. Diana Al-Hadid, “Diana Al-Hadid’s Babylon,” interview by Rachel Small, Interview Magazine, February 2, 2014.
11. Philip Mansel, Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s Great Merchant City (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016), 62.
12. Maamoun Abdulkarim, “Combating Illicit Trafficking of Syrian Antiquities” (speech, The Amelia Conference: ARCA’s Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference, Collegio Boccarini Conference Hall, Amelia, Italy, June 24, 2017).
13. Robert Ginsberg, The Aesthetics of Ruins (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi B.V., 2004), xvii.
14. Lauren Schell Dickens, ed., Diana Al-Hadid: Liquid City (Issuu, 2017), 1, accessed April 6, 2018, https://issuu.com/sanjosemuseumofart/docs/diana_al-hadid_liquid_city.
15. “Creating a Spatial and Psychological Terrain: Artist Diana Al-Hadid,” video file, 1:00:54, YouTube, posted by Nasher Sculpture Center, February 1, 2016, accessed December 16, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXKKXA-k0lo.
16. Nolli’s Orders was part of the “Invisible Cities” exhibition at the Mass MOCA in Massachusetts, in 2012, shown at the Akron Art Museum in 2013 in Ohio, featured at the Canzani Center of the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio in 2014, and, most recently in the “Liquid Cities” exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art in California, in 2017.
17. Diana Al-Hadid, “Q&A with Artist Diana Al-Hadid,” interview by Sasha Mann, Hammer Museum Blog, September 1, 2010, accessed April 18, 2018, https://hammer.ucla.edu/blog/2010/09/qa-with-artist-diana-al-hadid/.
18. See, for example, Keith N. Morgan, “Invisible Cities,” review of Nolli’s Orders, by Diana Al-Hadid, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA, College Art Association, April 11, 2013, accessed April 7, 2018, doi:10.3202/caa.reviews.2013.37.
19. Kim Beil, “Diana Al-Hadid: San Jose Museum of Art,” review of Nolli’s Orders, by Diana Al-Hadid, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, Artforum International, last modified August 2017, accessed April 6, 2018, https://www.artforum.com/picks/diana-al-hadid-69708.
20. Donatella Fiorani characterizes a ruin as “[un] oggetto transizionale,” see Donatella Fiorani, “Architettura, rovina, restauro,” in Relitti riletti: Metamorfosi delle rovine e identità culturale, ed. Marcello Barbanera (Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 2009), 339.
21. Fiorani, “Architettura, rovina,” in Relitti riletti, 340.
22. Brian O’Doherty, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space (Berkley: University of California Press, 1999), 15.
23. Al-Hadid, “Q&A with,” interview.
24. Ginsberg, The Aesthetics of Ruins, 417.
25. Ibid., 362.
26. Ibid., 22.
27. The plaster molds for these figures were created using live models who contorted their bodies to correspond to the positions of subjects of Northern Renaissance and Mannerist paintings, making them figural “ruins” of Renaissance and Baroque paintings. See Schell Dickens, Diana Al-Hadid, 4.
28. Ibid., 216.
Abdulkarim, Maamoun. “Combating Illicit Trafficking of Syrian Antiquities.” Speech, The Amelia Conference: ARCA’s Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference, Collegio Boccarini Conference Hall, Amelia, Italy, June 2017.
Al-Hadid, Diana. “Conversations with Artists: Diana Al-Hadid.” Lecture at the University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, January 2018.
Al-Hadid, Diana. “Diana Al-Hadid’s Babylon.” Interview by Rachel Small. Interview Magazine, February 2, 2014.
Al Hadid, Diana. “Inside Art: Exclusive Interview with Sculptor Diana Al-Hadid.” By Faizal Dahlawia. Buro 24/7, January 17, 2016.
Al-Hadid, Diana. “‘Phantom Limb’ Showcases Ruinous Forms.” Interview by Ethel Renia. The Brown Daily Herald. Last modified September 21, 2016. Accessed December 10, 2017. http://www.browndailyherald.com/2016/09/21/phantom-limb-showcases-ruinous-forms/.
Al-Hadid, Diana. “Q&A with Artist Diana Al-Hadid.” Interview by Sasha Mann. Hammer Museum Blog, September 1, 2010. Accessed April 18, 2018. https://hammer.ucla.edu/blog/2010/09/qa-with-artist-diana-al-hadid/.
Beil, Kim. “Diana Al-Hadid: San Jose Museum of Art.” Review of Nolli’s Orders, by Diana Al-Hadid, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. Artforum International. Last modified August 2017. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.artforum.com/picks/diana-al-hadid-69708.
Cain, Abigail. “How the White Cube Came to Dominate the Art World.” Artsy. Last modified January 23, 2017. Accessed April 11, 2018. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-white-cube-dominate-art.
Caldwell, Dorigen, and Lesley Caldwell. Rome: Continuing Encounters between past and Present: Continuing Encounters between past and Present. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2011.
“Creating a Spatial and Psychological Terrain: Artist Diana Al-Hadid.” Video file, 1:00:54. YouTube. Posted by Nasher Sculpture Center, February 1, 2016. Accessed December 16, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXKKXA-k0lo.
Fiorani, Donatella. “Architettura, rovina, restauro.” In Relitti riletti: metamorfosi delle rovine e identità culturale, edited by Marcello Barbanera. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 2009.
Ginsberg, Robert. The Aesthetics of Ruins. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi B.V., 2004.
Mansel, Philip. Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s Great Merchant City. London: I.B. Tauris, 2016.
Morgan, Keith N. “Invisible Cities.” Review of Nolli’s Orders, by Diana Al-Hadid, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA. College Art Association, April 11, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2018. doi:10.3202/caa.reviews.2013.37.
Nyberg, Dorothea, ed. Giovanni Battista Piranesi Drawings and Etchings. New York: Columbia University, 1972.
O’Doherty, Brian. Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space. Berkley: University of California Press, 1999.
Schell Dickens, Lauren, ed. “Diana Al-Hadid: Liquid City.” Issuu, 2017. Accessed April 6, 2018.
Stillman, Nick. “Diana Al-Hadid: Perry Rubenstein Gallery.” Review of Nolli’s Orders, by Diana Al-Hadid, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Artforum International, December 2008, 303-04.
Wilson, Claire. “Syrian Artist Diana Al-Hadid’s ‘Liquid City’ at San Jose Museum of Art.” Art Radar, August 23, 2017. Accessed April 6, 2018. http://artradarjournal.com/2017/08/23/syrian-artist-diana-al-hadids-liquid-city-at-san-jose-museum-of-art/.
Zanker, Paul. “Le rovine romane e i loro osservatori.” In Relitti riletti: Metamorfosi delle rovine e identità culturale, edited by Marcello Barbanera, 256-77. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 2009.