On the morning of most recent birthday, I rose from slumber with a certain knowledge of the world being my oyster. I was finally rested from exerting myself in too many directions of too little sustenance. I put on some water for coffee while I took a novel of satisfying thickness. When I heard the last of the coffee-maker’s slurping sounds and began to smell its pervasive aroma, I held my large coffee mug under the small pot which it eclipsed in proportion as it gulped its contents whole. I stood there in the kitchen taking in the rare feeling of being vacated from my day to day routine at the gallery into the day’s arms, which knew nothing of being bound. I looked outside. The weather was brilliant for this late-December day. The sun was out in clear view and the frosty, chilling edge that had lingered upon the Los Angeles basin had lifted. On recent birthdays, I always feel lucky, like I have found myself in the calm of a storm. I talked with my mom and Alexis and slowly but surely made my way out of Downtown, onto the glorious 10 freeway (I have been getting a tinge of excited thrill to get on this freeway going West because the further you go the light changes into a shimmer, space expands and the water of the Pacific moans, hushing our racing thoughts and worries. I near the edge.
I eventually made my way into Brentwood, pulled in to a parking complex, parked myself and took the elevator up to the Museum’s lobby. Upon entering the gallery, I grew surprised. The work I came to see struck me as familiar, and basic. As I moved further however, they became more complex and marked by nuance – the voice of this artist began to seep into my experience of it. It lingered, not loud, but calmly and with purpose thick in the galleries. /////////////////
Her ideas – sculptural and conceptual – remain fluid while her experience remains stable. This utterly brilliant exhibition of paper sculptures among other various objects and prints were that of Indian artist Zarina Hashmi. Seeing her works fill me with supreme (de)light. Her works, while sensual and evocative are also rooted in universal themes – religion, geographical and cultural displacement and the body as vessel of lived experience, sometimes in spite of private turmoil. It refreshed my worldview to witness an artist of such integrity to her process that her works, while richly sensual, eschewed decorum or easy commodification. Instead, the various works constantly shift technologies while retaining a strong sense of the above subject matter. She is a out and out sculptress. This is a dreamer of an artist. It filled me with a certain relief that there are artists out there who are able to still make objects without a careerist motive, and exist in order only, to clarify their art.