LONDON — An impromptu retrospective of the work of the Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid will open in Venice this month during the city’s Architecture Biennale. It will be the first Hadid exhibition since her death on March 31 at age 65.The 10-room exhibition, which will run from May 26 to Nov. 27 at the Palazzo Franchetti, is financed by the Fondazione Berengo, a Venetian foundation that promotes the art of glass making.The show will offer an overview of 35 years of Ms. Hadid’s career, from unrealized early projects — including a 1985 plan to transform Trafalgar Square in London — to works in progress, such as a port headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium, that is to open in September and a residential building on the High Line in New York that is due to be finished early next year. The retrospective will be announced this week by Ms. Hadid’s studio and the foundation.The idea for a Hadid exhibition came up in October when the Fondazione Berengo’s director, Jane Rushton, got in touch with Ms. Hadid on a visit to London. Ms. Hadid subsequently designed sinuous, vase-like sculptures for the Berengo glassmaking studio, which have yet to be produced, said Adriano Berengo, the studio’s founder. Berengo is based in Murano, in the Venetian Lagoon, and has worked with artists including Jake and Dinos Chapman and Joana Vasconcelos.Ms. Hadid intended the exhibition to be a smaller, research-focused show, illustrating the new technologies and computational design methods used by her London-based practice, Zaha Hadid Architects. After her death, her studio decided to turn it into a survey of her career.“We felt the responsibility to address the fact that, unfortunately, Zaha passed away,” said Manon Janssens, head of exhibitions at Zaha Hadid Architects. “We couldn’t just have the show as it was.”Other Hadid retrospectives have been held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in 2006, and at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2015.Photo
An 1989 painting by Ms. Hadid of Hafenstrasse, a street in Hamburg, Germany. CreditZaha Hadid ArchitectsAll of Ms. Hadid’s completed buildings will be represented in some way at the Venice show, through Ms. Hadid’s own paintings, as well as models in paper relief and 3-D printing, line drawings, photographs, and videos.Inside the 16th-century Palazzo Franchetti, the first thing that visitors will see is a forest of undulating towers. The models, created by 3-D printing and presented as an example of the practice’s working methods, were studies for a 2010 competition (entered but not won) for the Central Business District in Beijing.The first room will illustrate Ms. Hadid’s early designs, with paper relief models in the middle and walls covered by her large architectural paintings. Many of these were for projects that were never built, such as the Peak hilltop leisure complex in Hong Kong (1982-83) or the Cardiff Bay Opera House (1994-96).One room will be devoted to her furniture, jewelry and exhibition designs (such as a 2008 mobile art pavilion for Chanel). Another will feature filmed interviews with Ms. Hadid.Three career milestones will be presented in a dedicated room: the Vitra fire station (1990-93) in Weil am Rhein, Germany, Ms. Hadid’s first built project; the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (1997-2003), which helped Ms. Hadid win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004; and the Maxxi National Museum of 21st-Century Arts in Rome (1998-2009), an illustration of how the practice evolved.Woody Yao, a co-curator of the exhibit with Ms. Janssens and one of Ms. Hadid’s longest-serving architects, recalled accompanying her to the Architecture Biennale in other years.“Usually when we went to Venice, we would walk around with Zaha, and she was an exhibition, basically,” he said. “Every two steps, you had to stop and talk to people. Everyone was taking pictures with her.”It will be a very different Biennale this year, Mr. Yao added.
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