Tibetan Contemporary Art

September 14 – November 15, 2011

Opening Reception: September 14, 6-8pm

Traditionally in Tibet, the function of the artist was to create sacred work and to open doorways of perception between the human, divine, and demonic realms. Highly skilled artists painted enlightened beings with precise proportions and archetypal iconography, set in mystical landscapes and exquisite heavenscapes. Though the greatest artists were celebrated for their clear vision and dynamic creativity, the artist’s individuality was secondary to a visionary, tantric artistic legacy of great yogic teachers and adept practitioners. However, individual creativity was highly honored and encouraged to flourish within the mandalic parameters of the sacred patterns. Tibetan art’s special contribution was making the surreal seem real and the real seem surreal, with vivid clarity and ecstatic beauty.

With Tibet’s engagement with the modern world and with contemporary culture, Tibetan artists have started to create works that merge their classical aesthetics with individual expressiveness, creating a new art that expands magnificently beyond their highly disciplined traditional artistic heritage. The artists themselves may view this transition either as a source of internal conflict or else as liberating freedom, perhaps both at the same time.

The viewer of Tibetan contemporary art is treated to a powerful new genre as Tibet’s ecstatic, visionary clarity vibrantly contained within traditional forms bursts into the abstract realm of vibrant self-expression artfully resonant with embedded archetypes.

Artists include Benchung, Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar, Samten Dakpa, Keltse, Sonam Lhamo, Nortse, Tsering Nyandak, Karma Phuntsok, Tenzing Rigdol, Pema Rinzin, Pema Namdol Thaye, and Rabkar Wangchuk.

Co-Curated by Pema Rinzin, founder of the New York Tibetan Art Studio and former Artist in Residence at the Rubin Museum. Represented by Joshua Liner Gallery.