Zarina (b.1937) was born in Aligarh, India and currently lives and works in New York. Zarina’s artistic practice spanning almost four decades is marked with recurrent themes revolving around her life, home, migration, displacement, borders, journey and memory. Having been witness to the partitioning of her homeland- India in 1947, Zarina’s work is marked with the aftermath of the divide and the experience of exile. Having lived in various cities over the world, the incorporation of maps in her work are not only reminiscent of where she lived or visited but also denote topographical details of places whose histories have been torn due to political conflicts. The visible minimalism, is consistently tempered by both texture and materiality.
Best known as a printmaker, Zarina prefers to carve instead of draw the line, to gouge the surface rather than build up. She has used various mediums of printmaking including intaglio, woodblocks, lithography and silkscreen, and she frequently creates series of several prints in order to reference a multiplicity of locales or concepts. She has been interested in the possibilities of paper, and in addition to printing on it, she has created works which entail puncturing, scratching, weaving and sewing on paper. Zarina also creates sculpture using a variety of media such as bronze, aluminium, steel, wood, tin, and paper pulp.
Zarina has exhibited at numerous venues internationally including representing India at the 2011 Venice Biennale, and her retrospective exhibition entitled Zarina: Paper Like Skin was presented at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2012, and at the Guggenheim, New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Modern, London; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Menil Collection, Houston.