Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Zaha Hadid drawings for "The Great Utopia" exhibition
Date (inclusive): 1992
Collection number: 950083
ca. 6 linear feet
Getty Research Institute
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Abstract: 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 installation.
Language: Collection material in English
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.
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 Berlin.
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).
Genres and Forms of Material