Zarina Hashmi: Google Doodle honours Indian-American artist on her 86th birthday

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of the influential Indian-American artist Zarina Hashmi, on what would have been her 86th birthday.

Designed by guest illustrator Tara Anand from New York, the doodle pays tribute to Hashmi’s artistic style with her characteristic geometric and abstract shapes.

Born in 1937 in the Indian town of Aligarh, Hashmi went to become famous for her sculptures, drawings and prints, which were aligned with the Minimalist movement.

After the partition of India occurred, she and her family were forced to relocate to Karachi in the newly-established Pakistan, where she would later marry a young diplomat at the age of 21.

She went on to travel the world and became immersed in the modernist and abstract art movements after visiting Paris and Japan.

In 1977, she moved to New York City, where she became known as a passionate advocate for women’s rights and female artists of colour. Through her art, she gained recognition for her intaglio and woodcut prints, which often incorporated semi-abstract depictions of the houses and cities she resided in throughout her life.

Influenced by her Muslim faith, her artwork often featured elements inspired by Islamic religious decorations as well as a lifetime of moving from one country to another.

Her abstract and spare geometric style has often been compared to artists such as Sol LeWitt, and continues to enchant viewers across the world. It has been included in permanent collections at institutions such as  the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among many others.

She died in London on 25 April 2020 following complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

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