Zaha Hadid Design and the Russian avant garde

Titled ‘Abstracting The Landscape’, a new exhibition of Zaha Hadid design pieces (on show at Zürich’s Galerie Gmurzynska until 1 July 2021) pays homage to the visionary architect’s work and her aesthetic links to the Russian avant garde

Galerie Gmurzynska Gallery. The room is all white, with black lines on the floor. A metallic, modern table, asymmetrical in shape with matching shelves on the wall. There is an abstract painting to the left.
(Image credit: press)

Zürich’s Galerie Gmurzynska pays tribute to Zaha Hadid Design through an immersive exhibition of the late architect's work. Titled ‘Abstracting the Landscape’, the showcase presents furniture and objects created by Zaha Hadid during her six-year collaboration with the gallery as well as sketches by the late architect.

The gallery’s collaboration with Zaha Hadid started in 2010 with the idea to combine her aesthetic affinity to the Russian avant-garde with her architecture and design works. From early in her career, Hadid had been inspired by Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Suprematists, whom she also touched upon in her Architectural Association graduation thesis in 1976. 

A see-through table is set against a wall. Above it is an abstract painting.

The Liquid Glacial Console by Zaha Hadid Design shown with a painting of The Peak Leisure Club, a proposal for a Hong Kong landmark designed in the 1980s and never realized

(Image credit: press)

This exhibition follows ‘Zaha Hadid and Suprematism’, a 2010 show exploring the link between Hadid’s work and Malevich, while another project by the gallery analysed affinities between Hadid and German artist Kurt Schwitters (which resulted in a permanent site-specific installation now on view at the gallery). ‘When we did the historic Suprematism exhibition with Zaha Hadid in 2010, we also published a book with Hatje Cantz for which she designed an elaborate box and three dimensional landscape. This is on display in the exhibition. Further, we are showing a video interview with Zaha as part of the BBC documentary on the Tate retrospective of Malevich, in which she speaks about her fascination with his work in particular,’ explains gallery director Mathias Rastorfer, demonstrating the multidisciplinarity of this collaboration.

‘Abstracting the Landscape’ features models and drawings from Hadid, as well as sculptural objects and never-before exhibited designs. It’s a deep dive into a dual visual universe: on one side are Hadid’s futuristic furniture designs, from the Mesa Table to the Liquid Glacial Stool or the folded metal Kuki Chair. On the other hand, are bidimensional works that speak of a more rationalist influence, including paintings and seemingly abstract drawings for projects such as Berlin’s Office Building West, the Highline condos and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

Galerie Gmurzynska Gallery. The room is all white, with black lines on the floor. At the center, is an asymmetrical white structure, that's permanent in the gallery. There is an abstract painting to the left.

A permanent installation by Zaha Hadid in the gallery, created as part of an exhibition of works by German painter Kurt Schwitters

(Image credit: press)

Galerie Gmurzynska Gallery. The room is all white, To the left is an asymmetrical white, almost see-through structure, that's permanent in the gallery. There are four candle holders to the left.

Another element of the permanent installation by Hadid shown next to a pair of the ‘Braid’ candle holders

(Image credit: press)

Galerie Gmurzynska Gallery. The room is all white, with black lines on the floor. In the distance, we see a few black marble tables.

A view of the gallery including the ‘Nesta’ tables in marble by Zaha Hadid Design

(Image credit: press)

There are three abstract paintings on the far wall. On the floor, there is a blue-toned rug in geometrical shapes, with a see-through stool sitting on it.

On the walls are three drawings from Hadid’s ‘The Peak’ project proposal, while the floor is covered in the Cellular Hand-Tufted Rug by Zaha Hadid Design, shown with the Liquid Glacial Stool

(Image credit: press)


Zaha Hadid Design ‘Abstracting The Landscape’ is on view until 1 July 2021


2 Paradeplatz


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.