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Zarina

Tasbih (Gold)

Property of a Lady of Title

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Zarina

Zarina

Tasbih (Gold)

Tasbih (Gold)

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Property of a Lady of Title

Zarina

1937 - 2020

Tasbih (Gold)


Maple wood covered with formulated gold leaf and strung with leather cord

Edition 1 of 2

Approximately 254 in. (645 cm.) long

Each unit (bead): 1 x 1 in. (2.5 x 2.5 cm.); 504 units total

Executed in 2008

To request a condition report for this lot, please email Frances.Belsham@sothebys.com.

Acquired from Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, 2011
Zarina Hashmi: Noor, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris, 2011, illustration pp. 26-27 and p. 81
Paris, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Zarina Hashmi: Noor, 26 March - 21 May 2011

Zarina not only mastered the art of print making but also explored her ideas in the three-dimensional sphere, using various media such as paper, metal, wood and terracotta. In the current work, Zarina has utilized gold leaf to expound on the concept of noor (divine light). The maple wood beads are coated with gold leaf and strung on leather to create a large scale replica of a Tasbih (prayer beads) - and, as noted by S. Kalidas, 'the effect is pure magic'. (S. Kalidas, 'A Sacred Geometry of Light and Dark: The Radiant Transits of Zarina Hashmi', Zarina Hashmi: Recent Work, Gallery Espace, New Delhi, 2011, unpaginated) 

Following her time in India and Thailand, Zarina believed gold was imbued with a spiritual, auspicious quality. (ibid.) The artist, reflecting on the influence of noor in her works, observes:


'I have always been attracted to a spiritual life; it makes me humble knowing that there is a greater power guiding me. My recent work dealing with darkness and light is a manifestation of this interest. Noor (divine light) is an age-old concept prevalent in many religious traditions... Sufi mystics believe that your soul is part of noor, and when you come to this earth, it is separated from the divine. All your life the light has abandoned you, and you long to be reunited with your creator.'


- Zarina


('The Garden of Dark Roses: Zarina in Conversation with Sandhini Poddar', A. Pesenti (ed.), Zarina: Paper Like Skin, Hammer Museum and DelMonico Books, Prestel 2012, p. 172)


Zarina is known for her astute use of minimalism and the profound sense of contemplation which her works invite. As with her prints, Tasbih (Gold) has an austere beauty, but is set apart by its grand scale, inherent tactility and reverential aura. 


Her unique body of work has gained the artist international recognition. Zarina is represented in major art institutions such as The Met, Guggenheim, MoMA and Whitney Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Tate Gallery, London, the Contemporary Art Museum and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi. In 2012, Zarina was honored with a landmark retrospective, shown at the Hammer Museum, Guggenheim and Art Institute of Chicago.