Monday, December 30, 2013
The Poetic Minimalism of Zarina Hashmi
Zarina Hashmi was born in 1937, in Aligarh, northern India. Her father was a history professor at the local university, and thus she was exposed to a lot of literature and family outings to look at Indian architecture. All of this fueled an interest in architecture which led Zarina to study mathematics in college, hoping to become an engineer, or maybe an architect. In the late 1950s, her family was forced to migrate to Pakistan. She married in 1958 and traveled extensively with her husband, who was a member of the Indian Foreign Service. For 20 years the couple traveled between Europe, Asia, Thailand and India. This gave her a lot of mobility compared with other Indian women of the period.
After receiving her degree, she went on to study printmaking in Thailand and Japan, then went to Paris to study with the famed Stanley William Hayter, at Atelier-17. “And he [Hayter] was a great teacher. He showed me that there are no shortcuts in prints. Like when you solve a problem in mathematics, you can’t jump a step because you’ll get caught.” In 1975 Zarina moved to the United States, settling in Los Angeles and then in New York City, where she currently resides. Zarina threw herself into New York’s feminist community, curated shows and taught art.
Zarina has widely exhibited her work in numerous exhibitions, including the Indian Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, and been made part of several prestigious public collections US, Europe, Asia and India.