Time Out New York / July 16–22, 2009

Zarina Hashmi

This exhibition isn’t quite as packed as its title suggests, but Indian-born Zarina Hashmi certainly displays a penchant for agglomeration. In a collection of sculptures and works on paper, all from the past 30 years, she makes frequent use of repeated geometrical patterns, sometimes employing a serial format derived from Minimalism. Hashmi’s tendency to rack and stack images as part of her presentation derives in part from a commitment to printmaking; the show abounds with etchings, intaglio prints and woodcuts, including the 36-part Home Is a Foreign Place (1999). This last piece documents, in elegantly simplified form, a constellation of environmental conditions, from Dawn to Darkness, Rain to Dust. Each sheet is labeled with the appropriate word in Urdu.

Another print portfolio, Homes I Made/A Life in Nine Lives (1997), makes similarly effective use of variation through formal structures. Here, Hashmi tells the story of her peripatetic existence through a set of floor plans, in which she outlines domestic spaces in which she has resided in Paris, Tokyo, New York and elsewhere. The search for home crops up again in modest sculptural installations like Homes I Made (1992) and Couple of Houses (1984)—in which cast aluminum and stained terra-cotta blocks recall Monopoly pieces. While never straying far from her roots, Hashmi nonetheless explores a surprising diversity of physical and emotional states in a straightforward and accessible manner.

Image: Zarina Hashmi, Homes I Made/A Life in Nine Lives, 1997