The projects Zaha Hadid worked on before her death earlier this year are, one by one, being revealed to the public. First, plans were revealed for a new residential building in Manhattan. Now, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has revealed a Hadid-designed exhibition space for Kurt Schwitters: Merz, a retrospective of Schwitters’s work at Galerie Gmurzynska in Zurich.
The space is a homage to the German artist’s Merzbau, the gradual, surreal transformation of a suite of rooms in his family’s Hannover home. The Merzbau was constructed between 1923 and 1933, but destroyed in a 1943 Allied bombing raid. The Sprengel Museum Hannover has reconstructed one of the rooms as part of its permanent exhibition.
“This design process is capable of delivering an intricate order, open ended and unpredictable, but at any time highly articulate. It is full of contingencies, but forges a unique, path-dependent identity,” explained Patrik Schumacher, director of ZHA, in a press release.
For a previous collaboration with Galerie Gmurzynska, Hadid honored painter Kasimir Malevich by selecting Suprematist work by Russian avant-garde artists to pair with her architecture for the gallery. This show features 70 Schwitters works across all media arrayed in a curving, warped white space that distorts the viewer’s sense of scale.
The gallery is in the same building complex that once hosted Galerie Dada, the alternative space run by artists Tristan Tzara and Hugo Ball. Adrian Notz, director of Cabaret Voltaire, where Dada was born in 1916, will curate archival documents that show Schwitters’s forays into stage design, theater, sound, and poetry, pursuits that complement his visual work.
A book to accompany Kurt Schwitters: Merz will feature writing by Museum Ludwig director Siegfried Gohr, Schumacher, Notz, and others. The show runs through September 30. Additional information on exhibition hours and special events can be found here.