Dorsky Museum presents “Anonymous,” an exhibit of contemporary Tibetan art

Rabkar Wangchuk, "Spiritual Mind and Modern Technology," 2013

(Update: The Huffington Post has taken notice of the Anonymous exhibit, calling it “both an archive and a laboratory for the burgeoning tradition of visual self-representation in [Tibet and the Tibetan diaspora].” Click here to see nine large, high-quality images from the exhibit.)

A rare exhibit of contemporary Tibetan art is on display now at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The show, entitled Anonymous, features more than 50 works of painting, sculpture, installation, and video art by 27 artists living in Tibet and in diaspora. These will include many works from the private collection of Shelley and Donald Rubin (founders of New York’s Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art) that have never before been exhibited. The show opened July 20 and will run through December 15.

According to curator Rachel Perera Weingeist, “It is only roughly in the last ten years that a contemporary Tibetan visual culture has galvanized.” The museum’s press material further explains:

“Anonymity and self-expression are commonly polarized values and artistic goals within the global art market. In traditional Tibetan art, artistic craft was used to support the transmission of Buddhist culture. In the present atmosphere, however, art is becoming a vital medium of self-expression for Tibetans — increasingly, artists are creating work focused on the individual. A cautious 21st century visual language steeped in irony, metaphor, and allusion has fully emerged.”

Click here to see representative images from the Anonymous exhibit and get info on attendant programs, such as a lecture by Columbia professor Robert Thurman on October 21.

Image courtesy Samuel Dorsky Museum.