How do you not fall for a person who said, I always had a suitcase ready….suppose I had to go somewhere? Or, when speaking about her art (reason number two) she said, My work is connected to language and to poetry. You know, my work is about writing. The image follows the word.
January, 2020, I saw some of Zarina’s work in Marking Time: Process in Minimal Abstraction at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.
I was fascinated by her use of paper. In these works, paper is everything, with nothing added to create the image – rather it is the manipulation of the paper that results in the art. The paper is the support, the medium, and the subject. (Reasons number 3 and 4: shared love of paper and the manipulation of paper to create images and structures)
After watching this 12 minute video from the Hammer Museum, I was completely smitten with Zarina Hashmi. In the video, Ms Hashmi speaks about her life, and her work. Not only is it a well produced, informative film, it reminded me that I saw the show Zarina: Paper like Skin when it traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. At the time I remember thinking Wow! A printmaker! This is beautiful, meaningful work….from someone I’ve never heard about before. (Reason number 5: good art stays with us and repeatedly delights us)
Zarina Hashmi was born in India, but was, truly, a citizen of the world. She earned a degree in mathematics and studied printmaking (reason number 6) in Bangkok, Tokyo , and, notably, in Paris, at the renowned print shop, Atelier 17.
I just made my personal life the subject of my art. So I have to write about what I’ve gone through. Oh, it’s very painful. I have opened up my life to the scrutiny of strangers. (reason number 7: her honesty)
Luhring Augustine in New York City has a good website with images of her work, and biographical information. This short video from the Tate will solidify your admiration for this artist – at least, it did for me.