Zaha Hadid Design and the Russian avant garde

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
 

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. 

Clear acrylic table by Zaha Hadid and painting on wall
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

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. §
 

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