Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Rubin Museum of Art, NYC presents: "Grain of Emptiness: Buddhist Inspired Contemporary Art"

David Byrne in discussions at The Rubin Museum of Art NYC
"poetry makes nothing happen..."

My late friend John used to quote his great-uncle W.H Auden; he, like Auden, I suspect, had a deep respect of the void.

 It wouldn't be the first time an artist considered his/her relationship with "nothing"; or cited "nothing" as the source of a more profound, unfathomable "nothing". Nor is this news to yogis; the stillness of the void has been the wellspring of asana, or seated practice, for thousands of years. As for whether art makes nothing happen, or nothing is the deep wellspring of all else; well, that's a topic that The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City is willing to take on.

Atta Kim, The New York Series, Times Square, 2005

The forthcoming exhibition entitled: Grain of Emptiness: Buddhist Inspired Contemporary Art, which begins November 5th 2010 and runs through April 11, 2011, features five contemporary artists -Sanford Biggers, Theaster Gates, Atta Kim, Wolfgang Laib, and Charmion von Wiegand- all inspired by the Buddhist notions of emptiness and impermanence and Buddhist ritual practice. These artists are from disparate backgrounds and explore a range of artistic mediums, but all have inherited the practice of incorporating Eastern religious beliefs into their works. The exhibition's paintings, photographs, videos, and installations will be complemented by performance art.

This is another opportunity for those of us a plane-ride away, to take a look at contemporary artists' musings on "nothing"; as well as, take in the other "nothingness" programming that the Rubin has arranged to complement the exhibit. Talk about Nothing, is a new series of dialogues being presented beginning in late October at the Rubin, that brings together personalities to discuss the void. Running between October 27th and January 29th, the Rubin presents talks with a diverse group of thinkers ranging from writer/musician Amit Chaudhuri, performance artist Laurie Anderson, to Tibetan lama Traleg Rinpoche.

The Red Book arrives at the Rubin, 2009

I stumbled across this exhibit while I was looking for events based on Carl Jung's richly illustrated, and posthumously published journal, The Red Book; which, I ecstatically received as a gift from my brother and sister-in-law, last Christmas. And as it turns out, the Rubin had presented a similar series of talks about Jung's undiscovered tome called "The Red Book Dialogues" last year. The picture up top is lifted from the Rubin Museum website; and features David Byrne in conversation with psychoanalyst Sherry Salman about the mysterious and wonderful Red Book.

Programming at the Rubin Museum is worth bookmarking.
Tickets for Talk about Nothing are now on sale to members at the Rubin Museum of Art website.

1 comment:

  1. Many of these same paintings appeared in an exhibition at Oglethorpe University in 2009:

    Jon Ciliberto