Hadid had a longstanding relationship with the Serpentine, becoming a trustee in 1996. Her first structure in London was the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion in 2000 and, seven years later, she created a light installation, 'Lilas', in the Serpentine Gallery's garden.

On show are Hadid's paintings and drawings from the 1970s to the early 1990s, all of which were executed before her first building, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany, was constructed in 1993. Indeed, Hadid regarded her paintings as a tool to represent her architecture and would present them to clients to explain her ideas for her projects. The Bagdad-born, London-based architect used to make paintings of each development stage, painting out the direction that she aspired a project to take and to clarify her thoughts.

Zaha Hadid, Installation view © Zaha Hadid Foundation. Image © 2016 Luke Hayes
Style-wise, Hadid was influenced by the early Russian avant-garde and the radical work of Kasimir Malevich (1879–1935), who invented suprematism – a bold, visual language of abstract geometric shapes – and the 'Black Square' (1915). Hadid once said that her discovery of Malevich's work allowed her greater levels of creativity. She was also inspired by Tatlin and Rodchenko. Significantly, Hadid's architectural team designed the Russian avant-garde exhibition, 'The Great Utopia', at the Guggenheim in 1992.

Also included in the exhibition are Hadid's notebooks she filled with sketches. What emerges is Hadid's immense artistic talent and how drawing and painting were central to her creativity, long before architects could use computer programmes to develop their ideas.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery; © 2013 Luke Hayes
Zaha Hadid, Installation view © Zaha Hadid Foundation. Image © 2016 Luke Hayes
Zaha Hadid, Installation view © Zaha Hadid Foundation. Image © 2016 Luke Hayes
Zaha Hadid, Installation view © Zaha Hadid Foundation. Image © 2016 Luke Hayes