The Russian Revolutionary: Zaha Hadid On Kazimir Malevich

Tuesday 9 September



One of the world’s leading architects, Zaha Hadid is known for her futuristic architecture, but her work has roots in an art movement that is 100 years old. She has long cited the Russian abstract artist Kazimir Malevich as one of her greatest inspirations. With some of Malevich’s greatest works currently on display in an exhibition at the Tate Modern, London, Zaha offers a uniquely personal insight into the life and work of this ground-breaking artist.

Malevich lived and worked through one of the most turbulent periods in 20th century history. He invented a new painterly language made from shapes and colours. He called it Suprematism and his Black Square became one of the most influential artworks in history.

Taking us on a tour of Malevich’s work at Tate Modern, in this special Secret Knowledge film Zaha discusses Malevich’s art and together with curators and critics considers the influence of Malevich’s avant-garde art on her avant-garde architecture. The ideas of lightness, floating and fluidity in her work all came from this research.

Named in honour of the artist, ‘Malevich’s Tektonik', was Hadid’s final graduation project at the Architectural Association. Her conceptual painting of a hotel on Hungerford Bridge in London was directly influenced by Malevich’s architecton Alpha. In this film Hadid also looks at how her interest in Malevich resulted in her decision to employ painting as a design tool. She reveals how her use of painting and drawing to develop buildings was inspired by the Russian artist.

Part of BBC Four Goes Abstract: When Art Broke Free season.