Born in Aligarh in 1937, Zarina Hashmi received a B.Sc. degree with honours from the city’s Muslim University in 1958 before she turned to the study of printmaking in India and then abroad. Between 1963 and 67 she studied printmaking with S. W. Hayter and Krishna Reddy at Atelier 17 in Paris, and in 1974 studied woodblock printing at Toshi Yoshido’s studio in Tokyo on a Japan Foundation Fellowship.
Hashmi has always engaged with the politics of space and its crossings. Mirroring her own extensive travels and the multiple meanings that the word ‘home’ has for her, Hasmi’s work challenges familiar locations like ‘country’, the ways in which they are bordered, delimited and traversed, and the feelings and memories that they evoke in us. Her minimalist prints use these locations to construct new geographies, imbuing them with fresh perspectives and new, universal meanings.
Hashmi has been awarded residencies at Art-Omi in Omi and at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, both in New York, where she eventually settled. In 1985 and in 1990 Hashmi was awarded the New York Fine Art Fellowship in the printmaking category. In addition Hashmi has taught at Bennington College, Cornell University and the University of California in Santa Cruz.
Her solo shows include two retrospectives, Silent Soliloquy at Bodhi Art, Singapore (2006) and Counting 1977-2005, at Bose Pacia Modern, New York (2005); and other like Cities, Countries and Borders at Chemould Gallery in Mumbai and Chawkandi Gallery in Karachi, (2004); Maps, Homes, and Itineraries at Gallery Lux in San Francisco (2003); Home is a Foreign Place at Korn Gallery, Drew University, Madison (2002); Homes I Made at the Faculty Gallery, University of California, Santa Cruz (1994); and House with Four Walls at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (1992). In addition, her work has been featured in several group shows and is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
The artist passed away on 25th April, 2020.