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Hadid lined up to present BBC arts programme

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Zaha Hadid is to present a BBC TV programme on the Russian artist who inspired her final graduation project at the AA in the 1970s

The new 60 minute Secret Knowledge documentary for BBC Arts will explore the life of the influential theoretician and Russian suprematist Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935).

In 1976-77 the double Stirling Prize-winning architect’s AA thesis was a conceptual painting of a hotel on London’s Hungerford Bridge entitled Malevich’s Tektonik.

The brightly coloured painting (pictured) features stark blocky buildings (far removed from the parametric curves her practice is today famous for) and structures that have clearly been influenced by Malevich’s Alpha Architectonic.

Malevich whose manifesto From Cubism to Suprematism laid down the foundations of the Russian suprematist movement also impressed Hadid with his writing which includes the lines: ‘…we can only perceive space when we break free from the earth, when the point of support disappears.’

The appointment was announced by the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, who also pledged to place arts centre at the heart of the corporation’s programming.

Other big names who have also been signed up to present programmes include sculptor Antony Gormley, painter Michael Craig-Martin, actors Simon Russell Beale and Gemma Arterton, dancers Akram Khan and Darcey Bussell and conductors Antonio Pappano and Simon Rattle.

Hall said: ‘I want BBC Arts – and BBC Music – to sit proudly alongside BBC News. The arts are for everyone – and, from now on, BBC Arts will be at the very heart of what we do.’ 

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