Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings

Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings

This volume is published on the occasion of the exhibition Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings (8 December 2016 – 12 February 2017) at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London. 

Zaha Hadid (1950 – 2016) was a pioneering and visionary architect and artist who left behind an extraordinary body of work. Her interests lay in the interface between architecture, landscape and geology, and her creative energy, as she stated herself, was put into the attempt to override nature’s principles of gravity and death.

Since the beginning, Hadid used drawing and painting to visualise her radical ideas of dynamism; abstraction and fragmentation as tools to investigate and imagine her architectural projects. Her buildings, often characterised by their weightlessness and sense of floating, underscore her profound understanding of, and an attempt to reconstruct the early 20th century avant-garde and its utopian ideals. 

This hardcover die-cut publication presents Hadid as an artist through her paintings, calligraphic sketches and drawings. It traces the development of her early career by exploring the processes, sketches and visions that eventually led to the creation of her signature buildings.

The book features newly-commissioned and previously unpublished texts. Artist and poet, Etel Adnan has written a touching text on Hadid’s Chanel Pavilion. Writer and cultural critic, Shumon Basar draws a portrait of Hadid in the form of a lexicon - From Z to A and Zaha Again - starting with Z for Zaha and ending with A for Architecture. Dr. Prof. Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, has written a text which traces the museum’s relationship with the artist and looking at the last exhibition that opened during the artist’s life. Patrik Schumacher, Principal at Zaha Hadid Architects unpacks his theories around Formalism in architecture in his essay ‘Formalism and Formal Research’. This publication also includes a reproduction of a seminal essay by the late German architect, professor and writer, Detlef Mertins, titled The Modernity of Zaha Hadid, first published in 2006. 

The catalogue presents a series of previously unpublished interviews between Hadid and the Serpentine Galleries’ Artistic Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, that took place between 2006 and 2015 and that provide an insight into different aspects of Hadid’s ways of thinking. 

Alongside the exhibition catalogue, colleagues, friends, and family members of Zaha Hadid have been invited to write their personal tributes to the late visionary artist and architect, published in the title ‘Reflections on Zaha Hadid’, which is available to download here.