Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Zaha Hadid drawings and slides for "The Great Utopia" exhibition
Date (inclusive): 1992
6.2 Linear Feet
(79 drawings, 97 slides)
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
A collection of 79 drawings and
paintings from contemporary architect, Zaha Hadid (b. 1950) executed for the design of the
exhibition of Russian Constructivist art, "The Great Utopia" (Guggenheim Museum, 1992).
There are 32 ink drawings and 47 acrylic paintings, grouped thematically by
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Zaha Hadid is a leading architect, currently practicing in London, whose work encompasses
urban planning, interior design, and product and furniture design. She was born in Iraq in
1950 and received her degree in mathematics at the American University in Beirut. From 1972
to 1977, Hadid attended the Architectural Association in London where she encountered the
work of the architects Elias Zenghelis and Rem Koolhaas. After completing her studies, Hadid
joined the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) as a partner and worked on the Dutch
House of Parliament Extension in the Hague. She established her own practice in London in
1979 and soon after won the Peak International Design Competition, Hong Kong, in 1983. This
award was the first of Hadid's many international exhibitions, awards and commissions. Since
1986, Hadid has intermittently taught architectural design at the Architectural Association,
London; the Graduate School of Design, Harvard; and the Graduate School of Architecture,
Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. Hadid is known and admired as much for her
extraordinary abstract, deconstructionist architectural drawings as for her built designs,
which, though few, include the fire station in Vitra Germany and the IBA housing block in
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Zaha Hadid drawings for "The Great Utopia" exhibition, 1992, Getty Research Institute,
Research Library, Accession no. 950083.
Acquired in 1995.
Scott Wolf processed and described the collection in 1997. Annette Leddy edited this
finding aid, July 1997.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection of drawings by Zaha Hadid contains 32 ink drawings (on mylar) and 47
acrylic paintings (on black and cream paper) that the architect executed for the design of
the exhibition of Russian Constructivist art, "The Great Utopia," held at the Guggenheim
Museum, New York, in 1992. Hadid's drawings demonstrate her debt to Russian Suprematism and
Constructivism, especially the work of Kasimir Malevich, Ivan Leonidov, El Lissitzsky and
Konstatin Melnikov, as they offer spaces where these designers' work can be reexperienced
and reinterpreted. Hadid recreates Malevich's "Tectonic" as a curved or "bent" form and uses
color in a manner reminiscent of Theo van Doesburg and members of De Stijl. As always, she
defies conventions of architectural drawing to evoke disorienting perceptual effects and, in
this case, to undermine and extend those of the Guggenheim.
The collection includes designs that were not implemented for the exhibition as well as
those that were. Apart from 32 "Study Drawings," the drawings are grouped by installation,
each installation concerning a certain theme or interpretation of a Constructivist thematic:
"Tatlin Tower," "Suprematist Walls," "Zig Zag Wall," "Porcelain Beams," "Black Room," "Globe
Room," "Skyline of Tectonics," "Maze Room," and "Bent Tectonic." The black display boxes
that originally housed the collection have been placed in a separate box (Box 2).
Subjects - Topics
Constructivism (Architecture) -- Russia -- Exhibitions
Genres and Forms of Material
Design drawings -- 1992