The current Google Doodle honours the birthday of prominent Indian American artist Zarina Hashmi, who would have turned 86 today. The doodle, created by New York-based guest illustrator Tara Anand, honours Hashmi’s aesthetic by utilising her distinctive geometric and minimalist abstract elements.
Hashmi was renowned for her extraordinary sculptures, prints, and drawings, according to the media. She skillfully used abstract and geometric forms in her Minimalist-inspired artwork to generate a powerful spiritual experience in the viewer.
Zarina Hashmi, who was born in 1937 in the small Indian town of Aligarh, had a happy childhood with her four siblings up until the partition of India took place. Zarina, her family, and many others were compelled to relocate to Karachi in the newly created Pakistan as a result of the unfortunate incident.
Hashmi married a young diplomat at the age of 21, starting a journey that would take her around the globe. She got the chance to delve into the world of printmaking and get fully immersed in the influences of modernist and abstract art movements during her trips to Bangkok, Paris, and Japan.
Zarina Hashmi in 1977
Zarina Hashmi relocated significantly to New York City in 1977, where she established herself as a fervent supporter of women and female artists of colour. She quickly became a member of the Heresies Collective, a feminist publication that explores the nexus between politics, art, and social justice.
Hashmi later assumed a professorial position at the New York Feminist Art Institute, a facility dedicated to giving women artists equal access to higher education. She helped co-curate “Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States” at A.I.R. Gallery in 1980. This exhibition was crucial in highlighting the creative voices and viewpoints of female artists from underrepresented backgrounds.
Hashmi’s intriguing intaglio and woodcut prints, which deftly blended semi-abstract pictures of the homes and cities she has lived in throughout her life, attracted wide acclaim.
Her experiences of continual mobility during her formative years, together with her identity as an Indian woman born into the Muslim faith, had a significant impact on her artistic expression. Notably, Hashmi frequently included visual components in his works that were modelled in Islamic religious decorations, which were distinguished by exact geometrical patterns with strong aesthetic appeal.
Early works of Zarina Hashmi that were abstract and subtly geometric in nature have been compared to well-known minimalists like Sol LeWitt.
Her work has captured the attention of viewers all over the world, as shown by the fact that it is featured in the permanent collections of prestigious organisations like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and many other illustrious galleries.