Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings exhibition opens at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery

By Adrian Murphy

“Conceived as Hadid’s manifesto for a utopian world, the show reveals her all-encompassing vision for arranging space and interpreting reality,” Serpentine Sackler Gallery

On a day when the Science Museum unveiled Mathematics: The Winton Gallery designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, a short walk up the road at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery a ‘homage’ to the trailblazing architect’s art work was being revealed.

Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings is an exhibition of paintings and drawings that showcase her as an artist who drew inspiration from the Russian avant-garde and in particular Kasimir Malevich. The exhibition includes calligraphic drawings and rarely seen private notebooks, showing her complex thoughts about architecture’s forms and relationship to the world we live in.

The Serpentine presentation, first conceived with Dame Hadid herself, will focus on her early works before her first building, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany, was erected in 1993 with a number of paintings and drawings from the 1970s and 1980s.

The Serpentine’s relationship with Dame Hadid goes back to 1996 when she joined as a trustee of the gallery. In 2000, her first structure in London was the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion and fittingly the exhibition is hosted in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery Hadid renovated and extended in 2013.

“We are so honoured to be presenting this exhibition of our friend and long-term collaborator Zaha Hadid here at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by her practice in 2013,” said Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Galleries Artistic director. “Her contribution to architecture as a pioneer and visionary cannot be overstated, and her declaration that ‘there should be no end to experimentation’ has become a mantra for the Serpentine Galleries as it looks to the future.”

Technology and innovation have always been central to the work of Zaha Hadid Architects, and many of Hadid’s paintings prefigure the potential of digital processes and the software required to render virtual reality.

Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings is free to visit and runs until February 12.