Google Doodle Celebrates Zarina Hashmi the Indian-American Artist 86th Birthday

Google created a beautiful doodle in her honor on the 86th anniversary of Zarina Hashmi’s birth. Her connection to the minimalist movement is what makes her the most well-known.

Zarina was well-known for her minimalist style key figures. Tara Anand, a guest illustrator from New York, highlights Hashmi’s use of geometric and minimalist abstract shapes in her illustrations to explore ideas of home, displacement, and borders.

On this day in 1937, she was born in Aligarh. She and her four siblings had a happy childhood until India was partitioned in 1947. Zarina’s family was forced to flee to Karachi, Pakistan’s newly formed capital city. Hashmi was 21 years old when she married a young diplomat and set out to travel the world. She visited Bangkok, Paris, and Japan, where she became acquainted with printmaking as well as modernist and abstract art trends.

Hashmi moved to New York City in 1977 and quickly became an outspoken supporter of women and artists of color. She quickly became a member of the Heresies Collective, a feminist publication that investigated the intersection of art, politics, and social justice. She later taught at the New York Feminist Art Institute, which provided equal educational opportunities for female artists. She co-curated “Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States” at A.I.R. Gallery in 1980. This ground-breaking exhibition featured work by a diverse range of artists and provided a platform for female artists of color.

Hashmi became internationally known for her striking woodcuts and intaglio prints that combine semi-abstract images of houses and cities where she had lived as part of the Minimalism Art movement.

The abstract and understated geometric aesthetic of her early works has been compared to that of minimalists such as Sol LeWitt.

Her work is still admired around the world, with permanent collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of  Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum among others. Zarina died on April 25, 2020, in London, as a result of complications from her Alzheimer’s disease.