This emotive show of drawings by late 'starchitect' takes place in the building she designed.
Conceived before her death in March, a show of drawings and paintings celebrates one of the world’s greatest starchitects, Zaha Hadid, in the Hyde Park gallery she redesigned.
It’s become a commonplace observation, but 2016 has taken some of our best loved public figures. In March, news broke of the sudden death of Zaha Hadid, as big as shock as any. The Iraqi-British architect was one of her professions world’s biggest stars, and one of the few women to make it to the top.
Londoners will have most reason to mourn her. In 2008 she completed the Evelyn Grace Academy, a school in Brixton with a running track built through it; in 2012 she unveiled a whale-like aquatics centre for the Olympic games; and a year later she presented Serpentine Gallery with a trademark extension to their new Sackler Gallery. The trademark in question is Hadid’s gravity defying curve.
Visitors to the Sackler Gallery can now see where those curves began life, in the many paintings and drawings which Hadid used throughout her career for research and development. She relied on her sketchbook as much as her software, and her calligraphic studies stand alone as exciting propositions about the ways form and space can relate one to the other. Fans of Russian constructivism will find themselves on familiar ground here.
No UK institution can have felt more grief for the passing of Zaha Hadid than Serpentine Gallery. Hadid was a trustee of the London gallery. She designed their first summer pavilion at the turn of the century. So there can be nowhere better to consider her life and legacy, and to reflect on the injustices of 2016.