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Business News/ News / India/  Google Doodle honours Indo-American artist Zarina Hashmi on her 86th birthday
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Google Doodle honours Indo-American artist Zarina Hashmi on her 86th birthday

Google Doodle celebrates the 86th birthday of Zarina Hashmi, an influential Indian American artist known for her minimalist abstract shapes.

Indo-American artist Zarina Hashmi. (Photo: Google)Premium
Indo-American artist Zarina Hashmi. (Photo: Google)

Today, Google Doodle commemorates the birthday of Zarina Hashmi, an influential Indian American artist who would have turned 86 today. The doodle, designed by guest illustrator Tara Anand from New York, pays homage to Hashmi's artistic style by incorporating her signature geometric and minimalist abstract shapes.

As per media reports, Hashmi was known for her remarkable sculptures, prints, and drawings. Her artwork, aligned with the Minimalist movement, skillfully employed abstract and geometric forms to evoke a profound spiritual experience within the viewer.

Born in 1937 in the small Indian town of Aligarh, Zarina Hashmi experienced a contented childhood alongside her four siblings until the partition of India occurred. The tragic event forced Zarina, her family, and countless others to relocate to Karachi in the newly established Pakistan.

At the age of 21, Hashmi married a young diplomat, embarking on a journey that took her across the world. During her travels to Bangkok, Paris, and Japan, she had the opportunity to explore the realms of printmaking and immerse herself in the influences of modernist and abstract art movements.

In 1977, Zarina Hashmi made a significant move to New York City, where she emerged as a passionate advocate for women and female artists of colour. She swiftly joined the Heresies Collective, a feminist journal dedicated to exploring the intersection of politics, art, and social justice.

Subsequently, Hashmi took on a professorial role at the New York Feminist Art Institute, an institution that aimed to provide equitable educational opportunities for women artists. In 1980, she collaborated on co-curating an exhibition titled "Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States" at A.I.R. Gallery. This exhibition played a vital role in showcasing the artistic voices and perspectives of women artists from marginalized backgrounds.

Hashmi gained significant recognition for her captivating intaglio and woodcut prints, which skillfully incorporated semi-abstract depictions of the houses and cities she had resided in throughout her life.

Her identity as an Indian woman, born into the Muslim faith, coupled with her experiences of constant movement during her formative years, greatly influenced her artistic expression. Notably, Hashmi's artwork often featured visual elements inspired by Islamic religious decorations, characterized by precise geometrical patterns that held immense aesthetic appeal.

Zarina Hashmi's early artistic works, with their abstract and subtly geometric aesthetics, have drawn comparisons to renowned minimalists such as Sol LeWitt.

Her art continues to captivate viewers worldwide, as evidenced by its inclusion 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, along with several other distinguished galleries.

These prestigious placements attest to the enduring appeal and significance of Hashmi's artistic contributions.

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Published: 16 Jul 2023, 08:17 AM IST
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