The Buchmann Galerie is pleased to announce its third exhibition with the architect Zaha Hadid
(b. 1950 in Baghdad), to coincide with Gallery Weekend in Berlin.
The focus of the presentation is on eight Silver Paintings, three Dot Paintings, and the large
Zaha Hadid became internationally known in the early 1980s for a series of spectacular designs,
drawings, and paintings, such as her prize-winning design The Peak Leisure Club, Hong Kong in
These early studies were unusual in that they were not simply studies associated with a task but
also permitted an open interpretation of the project from various perspectives.
Architecture always exists in the area of tension between 2-D and 3-D, between the translation of
drawing into building. Nevertheless, in architecture is it precisely the drawing, the 2-D works, that
achieved true innovations, which is why the Silver Paintings and the Dot Paintings are particularly
important in this exhibition “Drawing accelerates the evolution of architecture,” as Patrik
Schumacher, Senior Office Partner at ZHA Architects, explains. He continues: “My thesis here is
that with the withdrawal into the two-dimensional surface, i. e. the refusal to interpret everything
immediately as a spatial representation, is a condition for the full exploitation of the medium of
drawing as a medium on invention. Only on this basis, as explicitly graphic manoevres, do the
design maneuvers gain enough fluidity and freedom to play.” (Patrik Schumacher, MAK Wien,
2003, p. 22)
Zaha Hadid’s Silver Paintings and Dot Paintings thus express notions of space that are otherwise
familiar only from abstract formulas or can only be experienced as tectonic forms. Images are
important to the studio’s work because their modulations of color, gradients of dark to light or
pointillist techniques are design means that cause objects to disappear against their background,
showing different options on the long path to the built reality. The graphic forms of the Silver
Paintings and Dot Paintings are translated step by step into tectonic structures.
Zaha Hadid’s images are representational without being naturalistic, because they do not show
physical realities but rather architectural possibilities: Hadid’s vision of an abstract architecture
whose formal language she has developed from her occupation with Suprematism.
Detlef Mertins explains in the catalog to Hadid’s 2006 exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum:
“Hadid transformed Suprematism from an art of building complex structures out of elemental
geometric shapes into one that seeks to make visible the elemental nature inherent in the world.
Where Malevich declared in 1920 that the forms of Suprematism ‘have nothing in common with the
technology of the earth’s surface,’ Zaha Hadid’s paintings bring mathematical and geological
geometries into greater alignment.”
The Iceberg furniture piece, designed for Sawaya & Moroni, is part of a line of formal research that
explores the idea of liquid territories. As well there is the Icestorm, a sculpture designed for the
MAK in Vienna that embraces and incorporates these different furniture pieces within one whole
The Iceberg is a bench that enables the user to sit on both sides. The outstanding and apparent
features of this bench are two icicles – like extensions. One is darting into horizontality whereas
the other points vertical. Although these two shapes are opposing and contrasting each other there
is mediation between them through a diagonal fold that “morphs” one shape into the other. The
morphing process (the continuous transition from one shape to another) enables us to blend
disparate shapes into one organic whole.
Zaha Hadid has consistently extended the limits of architecture and the designed space. Her
experimentation with new spatial concepts has attracted worldwide attention and esteem. In a few
weeks, one of Zaha Hadid’s latest projects, the Olympic Aquatic Centre in London will be opened to
“There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?” (Zaha Hadid)