Wednesday, June 26, 2013–Sunday, September 22, 2013
The Art Institute is thrilled to welcome the first retrospective of Indian-born American artist Zarina. Organized by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, this long-overdue survey traces Zarina’s career from 1961 to the present and features approximately 60 works from the artist’s studio, as well as from public and private collections.
Zarina Hashmi was born in Aligarh, India, in 1937 and has lived and worked in New York for the past 30 years. Her main medium is paper, which she employs in woodcuts, etchings, drawings, rubbings, and casts made from paper pulp. Although she is primarily a printmaker, she considers herself to be a sculptor as well, in part because the activity of carving blocks of wood is central to her practice.
Zarina’s vocabulary is minimal yet rich in associations. Her abstract compositions are inextricably linked to her life and to the themes of dispossession and exile that have marked it. Her family is Muslim but chose to stay in India following the partition of 1947, which resulted in the uprooting and deaths of millions of people. Conditions in India eventually made it impossible for them to remain any longer, but by the time her parents chose to immigrate to Pakistan in 1959, Zarina was married and living in Thailand. She was unable to return to her childhood home and was also not “at home” in Pakistan. She later lived in Germany, France, and Japan before settling in the United States. The concept of home—whether personal, geographical, national, spiritual, or familial—resonates throughout Zarina’s work. The lines that define her spaces are never anonymous; on the contrary, they are handcrafted and calligraphic. Although it appears in different guises throughout her oeuvre, her distinctive sense of line is the unifying element of her compositions, like an umbilical cord that ties her to this world regardless of where she is.
Zarina, who chooses to be referred to simply by her first name, was a prominent figure in feminist circles of the New York art scene in the 1970s. While her work has been featured in major exhibitions and is represented in important public collections, including those of the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this exhibition marks the most comprehensive survey to date of her strikingly beautiful, contemplative, and poetic oeuvre.
Organizer Zarina: Paper Like Skin was organized by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and curated by Allegra Pesenti.
Sponsors The Art Institute of Chicago’s presentation is made possible through the generous support of Prabhakant and Anita Sinha and Anuradha and Arjun Aggarwal.
Additional support is provided by Diane and Richard Weinberg.
The exhibition was made possible by a major gift from Susan Steinhauser and Daniel Greenberg/The Greenberg Foundation.
Generous support was also provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
2 days 6 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago FRIDAY—Kick off the holidays in Chicago with a time-honored tradition as we don our beloved lions with traditional evergreen wreaths. Warm up with free hot chocolate, enjoy live music and family activities in the museum, and visit our Neapolitan crèche and the Holiday Thorne Rooms.
WREATHING OF THE LIONS—http://bit.ly/1ATN0Qy
2 days 22 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago We are thrilled to welcome internationally recognized Chinese art scholar Tao Wang as the Pritzker Chair of the Department of Asian Art and Curator of Chinese Art, as the department aggressively seeks to expand the reach and raise the profile of our Asian collections and programs.
“I am thrilled to join such a storied institution,” said Wang. “This is an exciting time in the field of Asian art, and I look forward to using my knowledge and connections to enhance the Art Institute’s already distinguished collection of Asian art, as well as to promote its research in this area.”