ZARINA (B. 1937)

Home is a Foreign Place

ZARINA (B. 1937)
Home is a Foreign Place
numbered, titled, signed and dated 'Zarina '99' (lower edge) each
woodblock prints on handmade Kozo paper laid on Somerset paper
16 x 13 in. (40.5 x 33 cm.) each sheet
8 x 6 in. (20.3 x 15.2 cm.) each plate
Executed in 1999; number twenty
from an edition of twenty five; thirty six prints on paper
Bodhi Art, New Delhi
Zarina: Mapping a Life, 1991-2001, exhibition catalogue, Oakland, 2001, pp. 10, 11, 13, 14, 29, 33, 42 (another from the edition illustrated)
Zarina: Weaving Memory, 1990-2006, exhibition catalogue, Mumbai, 2007 (another from the edition illustrated, unpaginated)
Expansion: Resonance, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 2008, pp. 8-9, 14-15 (another from the edition illustrated)
R. Hoskote, Everyone Agrees: It's About to Explode, Venice Biennale, India Pavilion, Venice, 2-11 (another from the edition illustrated, unpaginated)
A. Pesenti, Zarina: Paper Like Skin, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2012, pp. 29-30, 106-117, 151, 180 (another from the edition illustrated)
'Zarina Hashmi imprints herself in paper', Los Angeles Times, 21 November, 2012 (another from the edition illustrated)
G. Sen, 'Your History Gats in the Way of My Memory,' Essays on Indian Artists, Noida, 2012, p. 148, 151-153 (another from the edition illustrated) U. Prakash, 'A World of Loss And Displacement', Asian Art News, Vol. 24, No. 4, 2014, p. 70 (another from the edition illustrated)
New York, Admit One; New Delhi, Gallery Espace; Chawkandi Gallery, Karachi, Home is a Foreign Place, 2000 (another from the edition exhibited)
Oakland, Mills College Art Museum, Zarina: Mapping a Life, 1991-2001, 2001 (another from the edition exhibited)
Madison, Korn Gallery at Drew University, Home is a Foreign Place, 2002 (another from the edition exhibited)
Mumbai, The Guild Art Gallery, Zarina Hashmi: Home is a Foreign Place, 13 June-2 July, 2005 (another from the edition exhibited)
Mumbai, Bodhi Art, Zarina: Weaving Memory, 1990-2006, 2007 (another from the edition exhibited)
Paris, Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Expansion: Resonance, 2008 (another from the edition exhibited)
New York, Luhring Augustine, The Ten Thousand Things, 2009 (another from the edition exhibited)
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, 5 May-16 August, 2010 (another from the edition exhibited)
Venice, Venice Biennale, India Pavillion, 2011 (another from the edition exhibited)
Los Angeles, Hammer Museum; New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Zarina: Paper Like Skin, September 2012 - September 2013 (another from the edition exhibited)
Shanghai, Rockbund Art Museum, Advance through Retreat, 10 May - 3 August, 2014 (another from the edition exhibited)

Lot Essay

Zarina's minimalist art raises questions about migration, exile, and the ephemeral nature of 'home'. The artist also explores the tenuous idea of geographical boundaries, playing upon their simultaneous ability to demarcate and divide. The concept of cartographic borders assumes an increased significance for the artist considering both her youth in pre-partitioned India and her unique conception of nationality and origin. Zarina's extensive travels with her diplomat husband through Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia eroded the distinctions between place, home and location for the artist, leading her to call 25 different cities and towns her 'home'.

For Zarina, process, medium and concept are as integral to the success of an artwork as the final aesthetic. Influenced by printmakers like Stanley William Hayter, conceptual artists like Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein and Jean Arp, and also by the minimalist sculptures of Richard Serra, her work distills complex thought processes to produce clean, uncomplicated images.

In this series of woodcuts, the artist's largest and most significant portfolio, Zarina demonstrates her skills at print-making, acquired while studying the craft in India, Thailand, Japan, Germany and at Hayter's Atelier 17 in Paris. Here, Zarina adopts the straightforward medium of the wood block print to express her understanding of 'home', introducing attributes of cartography, Urdu calligraphy, and Islamic art and architecture with an emphasis on geometry and simple patterns.
Christopher Knight, art critic for the Los Angeles Times, describes this portfolio as the artist's "best-known work", demonstrating "how evocative and simple a gesture can be. The shapes are lines, crosses, circles and bars, revealing her long-standing interest in the radical, early-20th Century art of Kazimir Malevich. Installed in a grid, the sequence is something like reading about a journey through a house - not just across a threshold, into a room or looking out a window, but feeling a rush of warm air and glimpsing a shaft of passing light [...] In this quietly compelling suite of prints, the sheet of paper is simultaneously foreign and home. That's a poetic and pertinent place to be." (C. Knight, 'Review: Zarina Hashmi imprints herself in paper', Los Angeles Times, 21 November 2012)

Zarina's works are part of numerous highly esteemed collections including those of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and La Bibliothque Nationale, Paris. Other editions of this important portfolio, which inspired Meena Alexander's poem 'House of Breath', have been shown at gallery and museum exhibitions around the world, and at India's first official pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Editions of this portfolio are also part of the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York.

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