July 21, 2010

Tradition Transformed

Contemporary Tibetan art has finally come to New York City. The Rubin Museum is currently hosting "Tradition Transformed: Tibetan Artists Respond," the first ever exhibition of contemporary Tibetan art in NYC. From the Rubin:

The exhibition began with an invitation: the nine artists were asked to submit new and recent works that served as the show's formative voice and inspired the curatorial response. Specific works by the same artists were then selected from New York private collections in order to complement the new pieces and highlight each artist's range.

Tradition Transformed represents the unique position of this groundbreaking generation of Tibetan artists that includes Gonkar Gyatso, Tenzing Rigdol, Losang Gyatso, and Dedron. Several of the artists were born in Tibet while others come from Nepal or one of the large Tibetan settlements in India. Three continue to work in their Himalayan homelands, though the majority have emigrated to Europe and the United States. All have benefited from the possibilities of technology, travel, and personal artistic freedom, which inform their individual responses to the complex interaction between the traditional and the modern in both art and culture.

The Rubin's extensive collection allows visitors to compare the contemporary pieces of art with the museum's permanent collection of traditional Tibetan art. If you're not planning to be in the New York area, visit the "Traditions Transformed" website to learn more about the artists, view pieces from the exhibit, and even comment on the artwork.

Read more about the evolution, decline, and revival of sacred art in the Spring 2005 article "Tantric Art: Then and Now," by contemporary thangka painter Robert Beer. Look for our newest altar card in the upcoming August issue of the magazine, featuring an image from the Rubin's collection.

Images: rmanyc.org

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