New York

Diana Al-Hadid

Perry Rubenstein Gallery

Diana Al-Hadid’s sculptures read as folkloric, narrative, even literary. Deftly handmade amalgamations of materials (including polystyrene, steel, cardboard, and wax), these hulking, unfinished-looking towers masquerade equally as medium-scale models for monumental contemporary buildings and as timeless, placeless ruins. While always sufficiently finessed, Al-Hadid’s work is curiously antiaesthetic. Learning that her impressively menacing sculptures are intended as references (to the Tower of Babel, for example, or the Chartres Cathedral) saps a little of their magic; it would be astounding if Al-Hadid’s lumbering and seemingly illogical architecture sprang entirely from mental improvisation.

The centerpiece of this show housed in two of Perry Rubenstein’s three Chelsea venues was unequivocally Tower of Infinite Problems (all works 2008), an architectural peak, spire and all, felled to the

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