Zaha’s Early “Paper Architecture” Part of Career-Spanning Exhibition in Madrid
August 23, 2012
Blue Beam, Victoria City Aerial, Berlin, Germany 1988
It’s easy to forget that today’s anointed starchitects, with their tailored suits, immaculately coiffed hair, and diva sensibilities, were once unabashed avant-guardists whose work pushed against the cultural, political, and aesthetic boundaries in place at the historical moment of their initial nascence. Their contemporary, “mature” works have traded in the combustible content of their “experimental” years for the sleek, corporate cool of finance. There’s Richard Rogers, whose terribly dull recent work bears little resemblance to the bracing neo-Constructivist projects of his post-graduate portfolio. Or Danny Libeskind, who in the last decade has inflicted numerous “signature” (read: incredibly bland) cultural buildings on the world that are a far cry away from the wonderfully esoteric drawings he composed in his “youth”. And then there’s Zaha, whose student work packed the most promise of all.
Long before she assumed the mantle of “world’s greatest architect”, Zaha was best known for her Suprematist paintings, whose rogue diagonals, sharp-edged polygons, and dizzying sense of motion proposed architectures that subscribed neither to the laws of gravity nor to the logic of markets. These canvases form the basis of “Zaha Hadid. Beyond Boundaries, Art and Design”, which begins its two-month run at the Ivorypress Space in Madrid on September 4. Curated by Kenny Schachter–for whom the architect recently designed a parametric-penny loafer-of-a-yacht–the exhibition will feature a collection of paintings, including some depicting prismatic proposals (“visions”) for Madrid, along with newer, fresher ephemera drawn from the ever-expanding Hadid brand, such as the “Liquid Glacial” table and the ludicrous “Z-Chair”. They are all compiled in an all-too-neat display–despite the fact that most of the paintings and products are separated by some twenty years–meant to clearly convey the sheer diversity of form of the Zaha canon.
“Zaha Hadid. Beyond Boundaries, Art and Design” begins September 4 at the Ivorypress Space and will run through November 3.
Vision for Madrid, Madrid, Spain 1992
Vision for Madrid Block GÇô 18 pieces, Madrid, Spain 2012
Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square London, UK 1985
Hafenstrasse Office and Residential Development, Hamburg, Germany 1989
Hafenstrasse Office and Residential Development
The World (89 DEGREES) 1983