Raichel' s Art History - Lectures and articles with the art historian Dr. Raichel Le Goff

Zaha Hadid Rome November 2010





    Everyone thinks Rome is about the Coliseum (that round ruin) and seeing the Pope at his Vatican window. Leave those two attractions to last and just walk around the city. Everywhere you go, you will discover fantastic treasures for the mind and eye. So just get out of the hotel and explore. Rome is not all about the ancient past either; it is a modern metropolis with cutting edge art and fashion. At the moment, you can catch Antony Gormley"s show at MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art Rome) which is housed in the old Peroni Beer factory. Check out their exhibition schedule and take a breath of fresh air away from the ruins of Rome: http://www.macro.roma.museum Or blow your mind at the brand new National Museum of 21st Century Arts known as MAXXI and designed by architect ZAHA HADID. http://www.fondazionemaxxi.it



MAXXI ROME interior

Cultural Highlights of the Winter season 2010-2011 in Rome:

Premio Italia Arte Contemporanea 2010 (ItalyÕs no.1 Art Prize)
curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi
3 December 2010 – 20 March 2011


MAXXI ROME exterior



If Zaha Hadid was not an architect, she would have be a sculptor. Her designs for buildings are like serene sculptural objects that share an affinity with the British sculptors Jocelyn Chewett, Stephen Gilbert and Henry Moore. Some of Moore’s lurching cylindrical bronzes in the gardens of Perry Green, Herts. seem like scale models for Hadid projects.

 Zaha Hadid

(Henry Moore, Double Oval in Summer, 1966. Bronze, length 550cm)


The language used by art historians to describe sculpture can smoothly transcribe to a Hadid creation.  These are quotes from the Perry Green website (© The Henry Moore Foundation 2010).


This work demonstrates Moore’s interest in the relationship between two forms, their closeness creating a sense of tension and intimacy.”

Moore spoke of the idea of the shadow, of one form echoing the other, that thereby questions its solid reality. Beyond the emotional communication of both the abstract form and the suggestion of two heads, this piece could be seen as a formal experiment with the sculptural object as a three-dimensional presence negotiating space on different levels. This impression is only enhanced by our physical engagement with it due to its immense size.”


 (London Olympic Games 2012's landmark building will be this aquatic centre designed by Zaha Hadid.)


Hadid’s approach of treating massive buildings as sculptural objects is supported by her installations in various international exhibitions of room-filling sculpture/structures. Her Dune Formations for David Gill Galleries at the 2007 Venice Biennale crosses the boundaries of art, architecture, design, sculpture, installation and Conceptual art.



(The “Aura” installations by Zaha Hadid Architects at the Villa Foscari La Malcontenta in Venice. (Picture courtesy of designboom) Venice Biennale 2008)



This is the Hadid entry in the exposition:

anArchitecture in Venice. Out There: Architecture Beyond Building. 11th Biennale in Venice.


My 13-year old son actually thought it was a model for a space city along the lines of Star Trek visuals. He is not far from the truth, as it is a computer-generated design that produces the fantastic slick surfaces and rhythyms almost impossible to conjure by architect’s hand/mind alone.


The latest headlines for Ms Hadid read:


Zaha Hadid Wins Stirling Prize With $207 Million Rome Museum After years of criticism from the architectural establishment of her adopted country – the U.K. finally awarded Hadid, 59, the RIBA Stirling Prize for her MAXXI Museum in Rome. (October 2010)

Her feminine language of the curve; bold, inviting, flexible and graceful has finally conquered the boring lumps of steel and glass the RIBA has lauded in the forms of Norman Foster’s American Air Museum at Duxford and Richard Rogers’ Madrid Airport terminal. How fitting to award the Stirling prize to a new building in an ancient city that looks forward and beyond the present economic crisis. This may be the last contemporary masterpiece to be erected in Rome for quite some time.


 (MAXXI –Roma Zaha Hadid.)


For me, Hadid’s creations whether curved or linear are serene and all about balance, harmony and organic forms lifted from nature. I am surprised when her work is described in conflicting terms:


“ZAHA HADID (1950-) has defined a radically new approach to architecture by creating buildings, such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, with multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life.“

British Council, Design Museum 2007. http://designmuseum.org/design/zaha-hadid


Rather than “the chaos of modern life” ; do her buildings and spaces not offer us an alternative to chaos? Look at the project for a museum of Mediterranean culture on the waterfront at Reggio Calabria (below). When completed, surely it will be the only oasis of serenity in this hectic Italian city? A silver elipitical poem whose lush curves taunt and mollify the concrete rectangles of the city’s skyline.


Hadid is to be celebrated, not just as a woman breaking boundaries, not just as an Iraqi demolishing stereotypes, but as an architect for the millennium; an architect for all time.


@ Raichel



If you are excited by brave new architecture go see Rome's huge Auditorium, the Parco della Musica designed by RENZO PIANO opened April 2010. Set in an oasis of parklands. Go to their website http://www.auditorium.com and see if you can get tickets toÉ.ANYTHING! Great night out in Rome.

Try the 34th ROMA JAZZ FESTIVAL 11/11/2010 - 30/11/2010   

Concert Hall, Parco della Musica, Rome's new music venue



VAN GOGH exhibition @ Complesso del Vittoriano, Via San Pietro in Carcere (Piazza Venezia
Tuesday - Sunday, 9:30 am - 7:30 pm; through February 6, 2011 tel 06 6780664

You can't miss it! Yes, the gallery is part of the massive white wedding cake of a building in the centre of Rome 'Vitt.Emmanuele Monument' @ Piazza Venezia.


Vitt.Emmanuele Monument, Rome – Art exhibitions year round


FRANZ WEST: Roman Room
Installation view, Gagosian Gallery Rome, Italy



Gagosian Gallery, Via Francesco Crispi 16 (near Piazza Barberini)
Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30 am – 7 pm tel 06 427 46429


Mondo Bizzarro Gallery, Via Reggio Emilia 32c (near Piazza Fiume)
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 am – 7:30 pm tel 06 442 47451


Z20 Galleria – Sara Zanin, Via Del Querceti 6 (near Piazza San Clemente) 
Monday – Saturday 3-7:30 pm; tel 06 704 52261


Galleria Diagonale Via In Caterina 83c 
Tuesday – Saturday 4-8 pm; tel 06 683 00482


G Arte Contemporanea, Via Panisperna 222/a (Monti) 
Monday – Saturday, 12–10 pm;


Studio Trisorio, Vicolo Delle Vacche (Piazza Navona) 
Tuesday – Saturday 4-8 pm tel 06 681 36189


Associazine Mara Coccia Via Vantaggi 46/A (Piazza del Popolo) Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 am – 7:30 pm; tel 06 322 4434


Galleria Paolo Antonacci, Via Del Babuino 141/a (near Piazza del Popolo) 
Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 1 pm and 3-7 pm; 
 tel 06 326 51679


Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch, Vicolo Sforza Cesarini 3a (near Piazza Navona, Chiesa Nuova) 
Monday – Saturday 2-8 pm;


Oredaria Art Contemporanee Via Reggio Emilia 22-25 (near Piazza Fiume) 
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 1 pm and 4-7 pm; tel 06 976 01689


Galleria Lorcan O'Neill, Via Orti D'Alibert at Via della Lungara (Trastevere) 
Monday – Friday 12–8 pm and Saturday 2-8 pm; tel 06 688 92980


Studio Stephania Miscetti, Via Delle Mantellate 14 (Trastevere) 
Monday – Friday, 4-8pm; tel 06 688 05880


Links :

View Saha Hadid Works on Google Images



Zaha Hadid News