Google Doodle has joined the world to celebrate today, the incredible legacy of Zarina Hashmi, the pioneering Indian American artist whose indomitable spirit and profound creativity have left an indelible mark on the art world. On what would have been her 86th birthday, Google Doodle pays tribute to her influential artistic journey, designed by the talented illustrator Tara Anand from New York, who beautifully incorporates Hashmi’s signature geometric and minimalist abstract shapes.
Renowned for her exceptional sculptures, prints, and drawings, Hashmi’s artwork gracefully embraced the principles of the Minimalist movement, infusing abstract and geometric forms with a deeply spiritual essence that touched the hearts of all who beheld it.
Zarina Hashmi‘s life’s path was one of resilience and fortitude. Born in the quaint Indian town of Aligarh in 1937, she experienced a blissful childhood surrounded by her loving siblings until the tragic partition of India altered her life’s course. Forced to leave behind her beloved home, Hashmi, along with her family and countless others, embarked on a new journey to Karachi, in the newly formed Pakistan.
At the tender age of 21, she embraced another adventure, marrying a young diplomat that took her across the globe. As she traveled to exotic lands like Bangkok, Paris, and Japan, she immersed herself in the diverse world of printmaking and was profoundly influenced by the modernist and abstract art movements of the time.
In 1977, Zarina Hashmi planted her roots in the bustling city of New York, where she became a fierce advocate for women and artists of color. With passion and dedication, she joined the Heresies Collective, a feminist journal that fearlessly explored the intersections of politics, art, and social justice.
Zarina Hashmi a journey of empowerment
Her commitment to empowering women artists led her to a professorial role at the New York Feminist Art Institute, where she championed equitable educational opportunities for female artists. Notably, she co-curated the groundbreaking exhibition “Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States” at A.I.R. Gallery in 1980, amplifying the voices and perspectives of marginalized women artists.
Throughout her illustrious career, Zarina Hashmi‘s captivating intaglio and woodcut prints masterfully depicted the houses and cities that held significance in her life’s journey. Her Indian heritage and experiences of constant movement during her formative years infused her art with a unique identity. Drawing inspiration from Islamic religious decorations, her art featured mesmerizing geometric patterns, captivating audiences with their aesthetic allure.
Comparisons to renowned minimalists like Sol LeWitt attested to Hashmi’s profound impact on the art world. Her creations continue to mesmerize viewers worldwide, finding a cherished place in the permanent collections of esteemed institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and several other distinguished galleries.
Today, as we honor Zarina Hashmi’s life and artistic brilliance, let her journey inspire us to embrace resilience, celebrate diversity, and fearlessly channel our creativity to bring positive change to the world. Her legacy serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that art has the power to transcend boundaries and touch the soul.