There are few things better than things that, at least somewhat unknowingly, make use of the location where they are displayed. Like the winds that rise during the perfect moments of Shakespearean productions held outdoors, a sculptural piece in a setting that perfectly allows the true enjoyment of it makes my heart soar. The San Jose Museum of Art has been amazing about that, using the skylight and vaulted space as a setting for pieces that can take advantage of such. Here, in the new exhibit of the work of Diana Al-Hadid, Liquid City, we are treated to a piece that perfectly uses its environment.
The piece Nolli's Orders, is huge, covering somewhere around 100 square feet at least. It is fibreglass and aluminium foil, and steel, and paint, and plaster, and wood, and polymer gypsum, and more. The combination of all of this gives us an illusion, as if we are looking at some great, tiered city built on the still-standing ruins of some marvelous temple complex. There are figures reclining on it, though they are only fragmentary.
Then, there is the dripping.
The layers appear to be either melting, or what I think of as the process that builds mighty stalagtites, mineral-rich droplets forming threads, threads turning into ropes, ropes becoming columns. This effect is so beautiful here, and it captured me, and the three people in the gallery with me, for almost an hour as, examining and, maybe it was only me, envisioning what mighty stories lay in each of the layers.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.