Monday, August 24, 2009
Really, every artist, curator or art institution’s dream is to receive the kind of review Holland Cotter wrote Friday about the Mandala show at the Rubin Museum. It’s laudatory, funny and informative. And advertising works: I went the same day.
I had never realized that mandalas are often maps of three-dimensional spaces– of palaces for example – flattened onto paper. They’re bird’s eye views of a floor plan. In meditation, one can use the image as a guide to visualize traveling on the path from the outer circles of the palace into the inner sanctum of sorts. On the most basic level, it’s a tool to help train concentration.
Esthetically speaking, I was especially taken in by delicate line work, devoid of all tension, and also the sometime substitution of object for figure that left my own pretensions of symbolism writhing pathetically in the dust.