Zarina (artist)

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Zarina Rashid[1]

(1937-07-16)16 July 1937
Died25 April 2020(2020-04-25) (aged 82)
London, England
United States
EducationAtelier 17

Zarina Hashmi (née Rashid; 16 July 1937 – 25 April 2020), known professionally as Zarina, was an Indian American artist and printmaker based in New York City. Her work spans drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. Associated with the minimalist movement, her work utilized abstract and geometric forms in order to evoke a spiritual reaction from the viewer.[2]


Zarina Rashid was born on 16 July 1937[1][3] in Aligarh, India, to Sheikh Abdur Rashid, faculty at Aligarh Muslim University, and Fahmida Begum, a homemaker. Zarina earned a degree in mathematics, BS (Honours) from the Aligarh Muslim University in 1958. She then studied a variety of printmaking methods in Thailand, and at Atelier 17 studio in Paris,[4] apprenticing to Stanley William Hayter,[5] and with printmaker Tōshi Yoshida in Tokyo, Japan.[6] She lived and worked in New York City.[7]

During the 1980s, Zarina served as a board member of the New York Feminist Art Institute and an instructor of papermaking workshops at the affiliated Women's Center for Learning. While on the editorial board of the feminist art journal Heresies, she contributed to the "Third World Women" issue.[8]

Zarina died in London from complications of Alzheimer's disease on 25 April 2020.[1][9][10]

On 16 July 2023, a Google Doodle inspired by Zarina's works was published to commemorate what would have been her 86th birthday.[11]


Zarina's art was informed by her identity as a Muslim-born Indian woman, as well as a lifetime spent traveling from place to place.[12] She used visual elements from Islamic religious decoration, especially the regular geometry commonly found in Islamic architecture. The abstract and spare geometric style of her early works has been compared to that of minimalists such as Sol LeWitt.[12]

Zarina's work explored the concept of home as a fluid, abstract space that transcends physicality or location. Her work often featured symbols that call to mind such ideas as movement, diaspora, and exile. For example, her woodblock print Paper Like Skin depicts a thin black line meandering upward across a white background, dividing the page from the bottom right corner to the top left corner. The line possesses a cartographic quality that, in its winding and angular division of the page, suggests a border between two places, or perhaps a topographical chart of a journey that is yet unfinished.[13] For her Delhi series, she created a woodcut print based on an engraving of the city of Shajahanabad as it stood before the siege of 1857.[14]

Awards and fellowships[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

Year Name of exhibition Name of gallery Place
2019–20 Zarina, A Life in Nine Lines Kiran Nadar Museum of Art New Delhi, India[15]
Zarina: Atlas of Her World Pulitzer Arts Foundation St. Louis, USA[16]
2018 Zarina Luhring Augustine New York, USA[17]
Zarina: Weaving Darkness and Silence Gallery Espace New Delhi, India[18]
2017–18 Zarina: Dark Roads Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University New York, USA[19]
2016 Life Lines Gallerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger Paris, France[20]
2014 Zarina: Descending Darkness Luhring Augustine New York, USA[21]
Zarina: Folding House Gallery Espace New Delhi, India[22]
2012–13 Zarina: Paper like Skin Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Centre Los Angeles, USA[23]
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, USA[24]
The Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, USA
2011 Zarina Hashmi: Noor Galerie Jaeger Bucher Paris, France[25]
Zarina Hashmi: Recent Works, Gallery Gallery Espace New Delhi, India[26]
Zarina Hashmi: Anamnesis, 1970–1989 The Contemporary Art Gallery Mumbai, India
2009 The Ten Thousand Things Luhring Augustine New York, USA
2007 Directions to My House Shanghai Contemporary 07 Art Fair Shanghai, China
Zarina: Paper Houses Gallery Espace New Delhi, India[27]
Weaving Memory 1990–2006 Bodhi Art Singapore
2006 Zarina: Silent Soliloquy Bodhi Art Singapore
2005 Zarina Counting, 1977-2005 Bose Pacia New York, USA
2004 Cities, Countries and Borders, Prints by Zarina Gallery Chemould Mumbai, India
Gallery Espace New Delhi, India
Chawkandi Gallery Karachi, Pakistan
Gallery Rohtas 2 Lahore, Pakistan
2003 Maps, Homes and Itineraries Gallery Lux San Francisco, USA
2002 Home is a Foreign Place Korn Gallery, Drew University Madison, New Jersey
2001 Zarina, Mapping a Life, 1991–2001 Mills College Art Museum Oakland, USA
2000 Home is a Foreign Place, Admit One Gallery Espace New York, USA
Chawkandi Gallery Karachi, Pakistan
1994 Homes I Made Faculty Gallery University of California, Santa Cruz
1993 Chawkandi Gallery Karachi, Pakistan
1992 House with Four Walls Bronx Museum of the Arts New York, USA
1990 Zarina: Recent Work; Bronze, Cast Paper, Etchings Roberta English Gallery San Francisco, USA
1985 Zarina Hashmi: Paper Works Art Heritage New Delhi, India
Chitrakoot Gallery Calcutta, India
Gallery Cymrosa Bombay, India
Chawkandi Gallery Karachi, Pakistan
1983 Satori Gallery San Francisco, USA
1981 Zarina: Cast Paper Works Hebert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University Ithaca, New York, USA
Zarina: Recent Cast Paper Works Orion Editions New York, USA
1977 Gallery Alana Oslo, Norway
1976 India Ink Gallery Los Angeles, USA
1974 Zarina: Screenprints, Tapestries Triveni Kala Sangam New Delhi, India
Serigraphs by Zarina India Ink Gallery Los Angeles, USA
1973 Zarina: Woodprints India Ink Gallery Los Angeles, USA
1972 Chanakya Gallery New Delhi, India
Gallery F-15, Jeløya Moss, Norway
1971 Chanakya Gallery New Delhi, India
Cultural Centre Ora Athens, Greece
1970 Graphics by Zarina Pundole Art Gallery Bombay, India
1969 Gallery Chanakya New Delhi, India
1968 Kunika-Chemould Art Centre New Delhi, India[4]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Zarina was one of four artists/artist-groups to represent India in its first entry at the Venice Biennale in 2011.[28]

The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles organized the first retrospective of her work in 2012.[29] Entitled Zarina: Paper Like Skin, the exhibition traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.[30]

During the 2017–18 academic year, Zarina was the Artist-in-Residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.[31] The residency culminated in a solo exhibition, Zarina: Dark Roads (6 October 2017 – 2 February 2018)[32] and a publication, Directions to My House.[33]

Examples of her work are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art,[34] the Whitney Museum of American Art,[35] the National Gallery of Art,[36] and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.[29][37]


  1. ^ a b c Cotter, Holland (5 May 2020). "Zarina Hashmi, Artist of a World in Search of Home, Dies at 82". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Zarina: Paper Like Skin". Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  3. ^ Great Women Artists. Phaidon Press. 2019. p. 443. ISBN 978-0714878775.
  4. ^ a b c Presenti, Allegra (2012). Zarina Paper Like Skin. Hammer Museum, California: Hammer Museum and DelMonico Books. pp. 182–183. ISBN 978-3-7913-5166-7.
  5. ^ Ollman, Leah (2 February 2013). "Zarina Hashmi". Art in America. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Artist Bio: Zarina Hashmi". Gallery Espace. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Third World Women: The Politics of Being Other" (PDF). Heresies Collective. 1979. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Artist Zarina Hashmi dies at 83". 26 April 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Artist Zarina Hashmi passes away in London". Hindustan Times. 26 April 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Zarina Hashmi's 86th Birthday". Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  11. ^ a b Butler, Cornelia (2007). Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution. MIT Press. p. 320.
  12. ^ "Zarina: Paper Like Skin". Guggenheim. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  13. ^ Nambiar, Sridevi (16 September 2021). "Zarina Hashmi and the idea of home". Sarmaya Trust.
  14. ^ "Zarina – A Life in Nine Lines". Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  15. ^ "Zarina: Atlas of Her World". Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  16. ^ "Zarina - - Exhibitions - Luhring Augustine". Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  17. ^ "Weaving darkness and silence". Gallery Espace. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  18. ^ "Zarina: Dark Roads (October 6, 2017-February 2, 2018)". Asian/Pacific/American Institute | NYU. 22 August 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  19. ^ "Life Lines". Jeanne Bucher Jaeger. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  20. ^ "Zarina - Descending Darkness - Exhibitions - Luhring Augustine". Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  21. ^ "Folding House by Zarina". Gallery Espace. 14 May 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  22. ^ "Zarina: Paper Like Skin | Hammer Museum". Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  23. ^ "Zarina: Paper Like Skin". The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  24. ^ "Noor". Jeanne Bucher Jaeger. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  25. ^ "Zarina Hashmi-Recent Works". Gallery Espace. 6 July 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  26. ^ "Paper Houses by Zarina Hashmi". Gallery Espace. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  27. ^ "Pavilion of India". La Biennale. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  28. ^ a b "Zarina: Paper Like Skin". Hammer Museum. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  29. ^ "Artist Bio: Zarina Hashmi". Luhring Augustine. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  30. ^ "Asian/Pacific/American Institute Announces Zarina Hashmi As Artist-in-Residence 2017–18". New York University. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  31. ^ "Zarina Hashmi Dark Roads". ArtAsiaPacific. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  32. ^ ""Directions to My House"--A Life Story through Words, Photographs, and Art". New York University. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  33. ^ "Zarina | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  34. ^ "Zarina". Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  35. ^ Tylec, Laurie (15 April 2022). "Acquisition: Zarina". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  36. ^ "Zarina". Jeanne Bucher Jaeger. Retrieved 11 January 2020.

External links[edit]