Indian-American artist and printmaker Zarina Hashmi was recently honored by Google on her 86th birthday through a captivating doodle. Created by guest artist Tara Anand from New York, the doodle pays homage to Hashmi’s unique artistic style, characterized by minimalist abstract and geometric shapes exploring themes of home, displacement, borders, and memory.
A Glimpse into Zarina Hashmi’s Life and Influences
Born on this day in 1937 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, Zarina Hashmi emerged as one of the most influential artists associated with the minimalist movement. Her childhood was idyllic until the partition of India in 1947, which forced her family to seek refuge in the newly formed city of Karachi, Pakistan.
At the age of 21, Hashmi married a diplomat and embarked on a journey that took her to Bangkok, Paris, and Japan, where she immersed herself in the world of printmaking and explored artistic movements like modernism and abstraction.
Advocacy and Teaching: Zarina Hashmi’s Impact
In 1977, Zarina Hashmi settled in vibrant New York City, becoming a passionate advocate for women’s rights and artists of color. She joined the Heresies Collective, a feminist publication that delved into the intersection of art, politics, and social justice.
Dedicated to equality and artistic education, Hashmi began teaching at the New York Feminist Art Institute, providing a platform for female artists to flourish. In 1980, she co-curated the influential exhibition “Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States” at A.I.R. Gallery. This groundbreaking event not only showcased diverse artists but also created a safe space for women of color to express themselves freely.
Artistic Style and Lasting Legacy
Zarina Hashmi’s art predominantly featured woodcuts and intaglio prints, skillfully blending semi-abstract depictions of houses and cities where she had lived. Her works often incorporated inscriptions in Urdu and drew inspiration from geometric elements found in Islamic art.
The profound impact of Zarina Hashmi’s artistic contributions resonates globally. Her art can be found in permanent collections at esteemed institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.
Today’s Google doodle stands as a testament to Zarina Hashmi’s enduring influence on the art world. Google Doodles have become a platform for the tech giant to celebrate significant events and pay homage to notable figures.