Zarina: Paper like skin

Dividing Line, 2001




Shadow House, 2006




ZARINA: PAPER LIKE SKIN at the Guggenheim Museum. Zarina Hashmi. Untitled, 1970.

Untitled, 1970




ZARINA: PAPER LIKE SKIN at the Guggenheim Museum. Zarina Hashmi. Kiss, 1968.

Kiss, 1968




ZARINA: PAPER LIKE SKIN at the Guggenheim Museum. Zarina Hashmi. Blinding Light, 2010.

Blinding Light, 2010





Zarina Hashmi was born in Aligarh, India, in 1937 and has lived and worked in New York for the past 30 years. Her main medium is paper, which she employs in woodcuts,
etchings, drawings, rubbings, and casts made from paper pulp. Although she is primarily a printmaker, she considers herself to be a sculptor as well, in part because the activity of carving blocks of wood is central to her practice. Zarina’s vocabulary is minimal yet rich in associations. Her abstract compositions are inextricably linked to her life and to the themes of dispossession and exile that have marked it. The concept of home—whether personal, geographical, national, spiritual, or familial—resonates throughout Zarina’s work. The lines that define her spaces are never anonymous; on the contrary, they are handcrafted and calligraphic. Although it appears in different guises throughout her oeuvre, her distinctive sense of line is the unifying element of her compositions, like an umbilical cord that ties her to this world regardless of where she is.

Zarina, who chooses to be referred to simply by her first name, was a prominent figure in feminist circles of the New York art scene in the 1970s. While her work has been featured in major exhibitions and is represented in important public collections, including those of the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this exhibition marks the most comprehensive survey to date of her strikingly beautiful, contemplative, and poetic oeuvre.


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