Zarina Hashmi

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Zarina Hashmi

Zarina Hashmi prefers to be known only by her first name. Born in 1937 in Aligarh, she attained a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Aligarh Muslim University, following which she travelled around the world, accompanying her husband on diplomatic missions. Her travels afforded her the opportunity to learn the art of printmaking under internationally renowned mentors like Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris. She also studied woodblock printing under master printmaker Toshi Yoshido in Tokyo. Zarina works primarily with handmade paper, exploiting the organic quality of the medium. Paper like skin (also the name of one of her exhibitions) breathes, ages, can be stained, pierced and moulded and Zarina makes full use of these properties by pinching, folding and perforating the paper she works with. She also moulds paper pulp into surprisingly light sculptures influenced by nature and Islamic architecture. Her prints are made using wood blocks that she carves herself. Her prints are monochromatic, incorporating geometric abstract patterns, maps, floor plans and Urdu captions and poetry. These elements all form components of her search for home and exploration of themes of displacement and documentation. As she approaches the end of her spiritual journey, her focus has shifted to her ultimate destination as embodied in the concept of divine light or noor. This has found shape through the use of gold foil, obsidian, Sumi ink, tasbih or prayer beads and white marble in sculptural installations like Frozen Light.

Zarina has had a long career in which her work has been exhibited at Gallery Espace; Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi; Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai; Chemould Gallery, Mumbai; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris; Chawkandi Gallery, Karachi; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Mills College Museum, Oakland, California; Alana Gallery, Oslo, Norway; and in many other galleries all around the world. Chicago art institute, Guggenheim,

Zarina’s work has been published in numerous books and catalogues including Expansion – Resonance, published by Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, 2008; Zarina – Weaving Memory, published by Bodhi Art, Mumbai, 2007 and Zarina – Counting 1977-2005, published by Bose Pacia, New York, 2005.

Zarina is the recipient of several awards like the Residency award at the Art-Omi, Omi, New York (1994); Residency Award at the Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, New York (1991) and the President’s Award for Printmaking, India (1969). She has taught at the New York Feminist Art Institute, Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont, Cornell University, University of California at Santa Cruz and New York University, New York.

Zarina lives and works in New York.


1937 Born in Aligarh
Lives and works in New York, USA


1958 B.Sc. (Hons), Aligarh Muslim University
1964-67 Atelier-17, Paris, France


2014 Folding House, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2012-2013 Zarina: Paper Like Skin, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
2011 Zarina Hashmi: Anamnesis 1970-89, Lakeeren, the Contemporary Art Gallery, Mumbai
2011 Zarina Hashmi: Recent Works, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2011 Noor, Gallerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France
2011 Zarina Hashmi: 1961-2011, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA
2009 The Ten Thousand Things, Luhring Augustine, New York, USA
2007 Weaving Memory 1990-2006, Bodhi Art, Mumbai
2007 Paper Houses, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2006 Silent Soliloquy, Bodhi Art, Singapore
2005 Counting, Bose Pacia, New York, USA
2004 Cities Countries and Borders, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai; Gallery Espace, New Delhi; Gallery Chawkandi, Karachi and 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, New Jersey, USA
2001 Mapping a Life: 1991-2001, Mills College Museum, California, USA
2000 Home is a Foreign Place, Admit One, New York, USA
2000 Home is a Foreign Place, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
1999 Chawkandi Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
1994 Homes I Made, Faculty Gallery, University of California at Santa Cruz, USA
1993 Chawkandi Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
1992 House with Four Walls, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, USA
1990 Roberta English Gallery, San Francisco, California
1986 Art Heritage, New Delhi; Chitra-koot Gallery, Kolkata; Gallery Cymroza, Mumbai; Gallery Chawkandi, Karachi, Pakistan
1985 Women Artist Series, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
1983 Satori Gallery, San Francisco, USA
1981 Cast Paper Works, Herbert Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, USA
1977 Gallery Alana, Oslo, Norway
1976 India Ink Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
1974 Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi
1974 India Ink Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
1973 India Ink Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
1972 Gallery Chanakya, New Delhi
1972 Gallery F- 15 Jeloya Moss, Norway
1971 Gallery Chanakya, New Delhi
1971 Cultural Centre Ora, Athens, Greece
1970 Gallery Chanakya, New Delhi
1970 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
1969 Gallery Chanakya, New Delhi
1968 Kunika, Chemould Art Centre, Mumbai


2012 Lines of Control, Herbert F. Johnson Musueum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
2011 Contemporary Galleries 1980-Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2011 Homespun, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi
2011 Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern and Contemporary Art from India, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California
2011 Drawn from Life; A Green Cardamom Project, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, United Kingdom
2011 Hand, Voice & Vision: Books from Women’s Studio Workshop, at the Grolier Club in New York City, USA
2010 Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
2010 Luhring Augustine: 25 Years, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, USA
2010 Orientations: Trajectories in Indian Art, Foundation “De 11 Lijnen”, Oudenburg, Belgium
2010 A Collection, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai
2009 The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia 1860-1989, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
2008 Expansions-Resonance, Gallerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France
2008 India Moderna, Institut Valencia d’art Moderne, Valencia, Spain
2008 Gouge: The Modern Woodcut, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California
2008 Frontlines: Notations from the Contemporary Indian Urban, Bodhi Berlin, Germany
2008 Fault Lines, Bodhi Art, Mumbai
2008 Drawn From Life: Drawing Space, Green Cardamom, London, UK
2008 Everywhere is War (And Rumours of War), Bodhi Art, Mumbai
2008 Fluid Structures, Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi
2007 WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, The Geffen Contemporary at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
2007 National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
2007 P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York
2007 Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
2006 Back to the Future, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2005 Figures of Thinking: Convergences in Contemporary Culture, Richard E. Peeler Art Center, De Pauw University, Indiana; McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown State University, Ohio; Tufts University Art Gallery, Aidekman Arts Center, Massachusetts; Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Washington; Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums, Virginia, USA
2003 Fresh Talk Revisited: New York Artists from Fresh Talk / Daring Gazes, Asian / Pacific / American Institute, New York University, New York, USA
2002 From the Two Pens: Line and Color in Islamic Art, Williams College, Museum of Art, Massachusetts, USA
1999 Icons of the Millennium, Lakeeren, Mumbai
1999 Asian American Artists / Cross Cultural Voices, University Art Gallery, State University of New York, New York, USA
1998 Ada or Ardor, Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi
1998 Connections, Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College, California, USA
1997 Out of India: Contemporary Art of the South Asian Diaspora, The Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
1997 India and Pakistan Contemporary Prints, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
1996 25 Years of Feminism/ 25 Years of Women’s Art, Mason Gross School of Art Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
1996 Asian Fusion / Contemporary Asian American Art, Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University, New York, USA
1995 Arts and Letters, June Kelly Gallery, New York, USA
1994 Asia / America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, The Asia Society, New York; Tacoma Art Museum, Washington; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Honolulu Academy of Fine Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii; Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, California; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, Texas; USA
1994 A Celebration of Asian / Pacific American Arts, Tweed Gallery, New York, USA
1993 Artists Books: Harper Collins, New York, USA
1993 Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hawaii, USA
1993 Hopes And Dreams: Celebrating the Spirit of Immigration, Tweed Gallery, New York, USA
1992 From Bonnard to Baselitz: From Print Collection, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France
1991 The Abstract / Abstraction Show, Forman Gallery, Hartwick College, New York, USA
1990 USA Graphics, GrafiskaSallskapet, Stockholm, Sweden
1988 The Language of Form: The Form of Language, Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, New York
1988 Coast to Coast: Women of Color, National Artist Book Project (National Circulation)
1985 Ripe Fruit, PS-1, Long Island City, New York, USA
1985 Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York
1984 Paper Transformed: A National Exhibition, Indiana State Univesity, Terra Haute, Indiana, USA
1983 Koninklijk Institute Voor de Tropen, Amsterdam, Holland
1983 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
1983 Sculptural Paper, Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, Connecticut, USA
1982 Papermaking USA. American Craft Museum, New York, USA
1981 Transformations: Women in Art 70’s – 80’s, New York Coliseum, New York, USA
1981 Installations In The Five Elements, Kenkeleba House Gallery
1978 Contemporary Artists of India, Alternative Center for International Art, New York, USA
1976 Director’s Choice, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, USA

Art Fairs/Biennials/Triennials

2011 Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode, Indian Pavilion, 54th La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2008 A Year in Exhibitions, Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea
2007 Directions to my House, Shanghai Contemporary 07, Best of Artists, Shanghai, China
2007 Gulf Art Fair, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1995 The Third Bharat Bhavan International Biennial of Prints, Bhopal
1994 International Print Triennial and Intergrafica: Krakow, Poland
1992 Norwegian International Print Triennale, Fredrickstad, Norway
1989 The Bharat Bhavan International Biennial of Prints: Bhopal, India
1974 Biennale of Prints: Tokyo, Japan
1971 Biennale of Graphics, Lubijana, Yugoslavia

Selected Bibliography

2012 Zarina: Paper Like Skin, Presenti, Allegra, with contributions by Aamir R. Mufti and Sandhini Poddar. The Hammer Museum , Los Angeles, Del Monico Books, Prestel
2011 The Companion, 12th Istanbul Biennial.
2011 Interview by Jens Hoffman, “Zarina Hashmi.” IKSV Biennial. Istanbul, Turkey.
2011 Drawn from Life, essays by Hammad Nasar, Helen Watson, et al. Kendal. Abbot Hall Art Gallery; Lakeland Arts Trust, Kendall; Green Cardamom, London.
2011 Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode, India Pavilion, 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. Essays by Kumari Selja, Ranjit Hoskote, et al. Venice, Italy and New Delhi, India: Lalit Kala Akademi
2011 ILLUMInations, 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. Organized by Bice Curiger, essays by Paolo Baratta et al. Venice: Fonazione La Biennale di Venezia
2011 Orientations: Trajectories in Indian Art, essay by Deepak Ananth. Oudenburg (Belgium): Foundation De Elf Lijnen
2011 Zarina Hashmi: Noor, essays by Finbarr Barry Flood et al. Paris: Galerie Jaeger Bucher
2011 Zarina Hashmi: Recent Work. New Delhi, India: Gallery Espace
2009 Munroe, Alexandra, ed. The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia: 1860-1989, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
2008 Merali, Shaheen. Everywhere is War (And Rumours of War). Bodhi Art, Mumbai
2007 Butler, Cornelia. WACK ! Art and the Feminist Revolution. Edited by Lisa Gabrielle Mark. Essays by Cornelia Butler et al. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.The MIT Press, Cambridge MA
2007 Mufti, Aamir R, Enlightenment in the Colony, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press
2007 Zarina : Weaving Memory, Bodhi Art, Mumbai
2007 Zarina: Paper Houses, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2006 Zarina: Silent Soliloquy, Bodhi Art, Singapore
2006 Appadurai, Arjun. Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger. Duke University Press, Durham
2005 Zarina: Counting 1977-2005, Bose Pacia, New York
2005 Kim, Elaine H., Margo Machida and Sharon Mizota, ed. Fresh Talk / Daring Gazes: Conversations on Asian American Art, University of California Press
2004 Sen, Geeti and Molly Kaushal ed. Journeys: Heroes, Pilgrims, Explorers; India International Center / Penguin Viking
2001 Shohat, Ella and Coco Fusco ed. Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age; MIT Press, Cambridge
2001 Zarina: Mapping A Life. Mills College Art Museum 1991-2001, First California Press


2007 Artist in Residence at University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
2006 Residency award at Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, CA
2002 Artist in Residence at Williams College, Williamstown, MA
1994 Residency award at the Art-Omi, Omi, NY
1991 Residency award at the Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY
1990 Adolph and Esther Gothlieb Foundation Grant New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship
1989 International Biennial of Prints Bhopal, India (Grand Prize),
1988 Invited to attend The International Arts Festival of Assilah, Assilah, Morroco
1985 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, New York
1984 The Printmaking Workshop Fellowship, New York
1974 Japan Foundation Fellowship
1969 The President’s Award for Printmaking (India)

Selected Collections

Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France
National Gallery of Modern Art, Amman, Jordan
Museum of Fine Art, Bhopal
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., USA
New York Public Library, New York, USA
Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, USA
Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Japan
World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA
Schlumberger Ltd. New York, Paris, France
Burger Collection, Berlin, Germany
The Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond, Virginia, USA
Rochester Institute of Technology. Rochester, New York, USA
Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi
Fukuoka Museum Of Asian Art, Fukuoka, Japan
Prince of Wales Museum, Jehangir Nicholson Collection, Mumbai
Chandigarh Museum, Chandigarh

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