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MoMA showcases Hadid painting in Trump protest

Zaha hadid the peak
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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has replaced pieces by Picasso and Matisse with a painting by Zaha Hadid and works by other overseas artists in protest against President Trump’s travel ban

MoMA took down works of art – including those by Picasso, Picabia, Matisse and other Western artists – in favour of works by artists from some of the seven Muslim-majority countries affected by Trump’s executive order.

These included Hadid’s painting for her competition-winnning design for The Peak in Hong Kong, which was never built, as well as works by Sudanese painter Ibrahim el-Salahi, Iranian video artist Tala Madani and six other Iranian artists.

The museum placed a caption by each new work stating: ’This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this museum as they are to the United States.’

A federal judge in Seattle blocked Trump’s executive order on Friday, a ruling the president has since described as ‘ridiculous’.

The New York Times reported that the museum started replacing the works in the gallery on pre-1945 Western Modernism, with those from its permanent collection, the day before the travel ban was blocked. 

Hadid’s painting, using synthetic polymer on a paper-mounted canvas, is based on her 1983 proposal for a leisure club called The Peak in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Although it was never built, it was her first major competition win.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The Peak Club was to be on Hong Kong Island, not in Kowloon, the other side of the harbour.

    The painting was inspired by her tutors at the AA, among them Elia Zhengelis and his wife.

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