ZARINA | UNTITLED
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MARCIA GILMARTIN
Wood collage on board
Signed 'ZARINA' in pencil on reverse. Bearing Gallery Chanakya label on reverse
25 ½ x 23 ⅝ in. (64.7 x 60 cm.)
Executed in late 1960s - early 1970s
Acquired from Gallery Chanakya, New Delhi circa 1970s
D. Gilmartin, Civilization and Modernity: Narrating the Creation of Pakistan (New Perspectives on Indian Pasts), Yoda Press, New Delhi, May 2017, cover illustration
Durham, North Carolina, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space, 19 September 2013 – 2 February 2014
In the late 1960s/early 1970s, Zarina made bold compositions using planks of wood that are reminiscent of fences and cages. She took planks of wood and ingrained them onto paper – revealing every crack and grain of the wood. 'These images of confinement suggest illusory thresholds to her life of travel and freedom from convention.' (A. Pesenti, Zarina: Paper Like Skin, Hammer Museum and DelMonico Books, Prestel 2012, p. 15) As is often the case with her works – the title gives the viewer a way of entering and understanding the work. While the present lot is untitled, there is a work called Wall – a relief print from collaged wood which is almost like a mirror image of the current work. Accordingly, we could consider the present work to represent a wall made of wood chips - It could be thought of as a wall of one of her many homes or as a wall blocking her freedom at the time as a woman or as a wife. The space between the various woodchips may refer to cracks or ways letting the light in through the wall.
The wood chips on board create a wonderful composition, highlighting the various shades of brown inherent in wood – some dark, some light set against the darkish, uniformly brown color of the board. The artistic process of putting the chips of wood together is apparent – making the artist’s hand visible.