An exhibition of rarely seen paintings, drawings and digital works by Zaha Hadid is due to open at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London this winter (8 December-12 February 2017), throwing new light on the late British-Iraqi architect’s accomplishments as an artist and calligrapher.
Hadid is closely associated with the Serpentine, joining the gallery as a trustee in 1996. She designed the inaugural annual summer pavilion in 2000, and completed the extension for the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in 2013.
Sketches and paintings linked to major projects, both realised and unrealised, will go on show. Concept Painting, Cardiff Bay Opera House, Wales (1994-96), and Hafenstrasse Development (1989) relating to a mixed-use development planned for Hamburg, are among Hadid’s key pieces. The painting, Confetti, The Peak (1982-83), shows an abstract design linked to the Peak Club project in Hong Kong.
Hadid is recognised for breaking into the male-dominated world of international architecture, drawing on the legacy of Constructivism to make complex, dramatic buildings. Malevich, Tatlin and Rodchenko are among the 20th-century artists and architects who shaped her vision.
In the RA magazine (Royal Academy of Arts) in 2014, she wrote: “Malevich’s Dissolution of a Plane (1917) represents an important moment. His geometric forms began a conceptual development beyond the planar, becoming forces and energies, leading to ideas about how space itself might be distorted to increase dynamism and complexity without losing continuity.” Her work explored these ideas through concepts such as “explosion, fragmentation, warping and bundling”.
An exhibition of Hadid’s work is currently on show at the Palazzo Franchetti on the Grand Canal (until 27 November) in Venice. The show includes paintings, drawings and maquettes linked to both early and more recent works.