As the new season's exhibition announcements arrive by e-mail and postcard, I’m seeing mandalas everywhere. I don’t know about you, but when I see a symmetrical radiating image, I slow down and focus. That’s the point of a mandala, of course, whether it’s meant as a device to aid in meditation or as a formally composed artwork offered for viewing.
Mandala is Sanskrit for sacred circle. Theologically speaking, it’s a map of the cosmos distilled to its essence, which just so happens to be a map to the very center of yourself. Artistically speaking, it’s geometric abstraction at its most concentrated (and often its most precise).
This post is not an exhaustive look at this powerful shape, but a peek as some of what’s going on right now.
On The Perceptual Observer blog, one of my new discoveries and essential reading for anyone with an interest in geometric abstraction, the current post announces that Tadasaky is showing at Sideshow, to my mind the best little gallery in Brooklyn. The show, 1965-2008 Tadasky features the brilliant acrylic-on-canvas paintings of Tadasuke Kuwayama.
Tadasky, untitled painting, at Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn
Bill Armstrong, Mandala 452, 2003, C-print. Image from the ClampArt website
Gilbert Hsiao, a painter of retinally invigorating canvases, many of them geometrically shaped, is one of a number of artists participating in the American Abstract Artists show at The Painting Center in SoHo this month, and at the big Minus Space show at PS1 that opens next month.