Writing and painting are close processes for me, coming in part from my background in writing, as well as an interest in the relationship between language and image. For over a decade, I have been making paintings and installation that synthesize an internal and external experience of place, connecting the topographical with the psychological.
Visually, the work pulls from conceptual art, comics, cartography and landscape painting and employs symbols of hard data- text, geologic forms, geographic borders, signs/markers, coastlines, tide schedules – to frame the soft data of the ephemeral, adapting a quantitative schema to the qualitative.
My interest in this type of work is personal: for three generations my family has moved from continent to continent due to political and religious persecution. This has fostered a deep curiosity into how story shapes a landscape, and its inverse, how landscape takes a mythic form in narrative.
Ms. Elsayed is the inaugural recipient of the 18-month Aferro Studio Residency for midcareer NJ-based artists. Her paintings, prints and artist books have been shown at galleries and art institutions throughout the United States and internationally, including exhibitions at the 12th Cairo Biennale, BravinLee Programs, Clementine Gallery and the Jersey City Museum. Her work is in the public collections of the US Department of State, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, The Jersey City Museum, Zimmerli Art Museum, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Noyes Museum of Art, Montclair Art Museum, Newark Public Library, New Jersey State Museum, and Morris Museum. A large number of her works were commissioned for the permanent collection of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York. Dahlia has received awards from the Edward Albee Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, The Newark Museum, ArtsLink, The Dodge Foundation, Women’s Studio Workshop, Headlands Center for the Arts,The NJ State Council on the Arts and most recently a grant from The Joan Mitchell Foundation.
She received her MFA from Columbia University, and lives and works in New Jersey. Check out Dahlia Elsayed’s personal website!