Selected by Jane Kim & Alexander Gorlizki
January 24 – March 4, 2018
Reception Thursday, March 1st from 6 – 8 pm
33 Orchard is delighted to present “Indian Drawings,” an exhibition of more than thirty works on paper from the collection of Magic Markings, a rich ensemble of images acquired by artist Alexander Gorlizki since the mid 1990’s. The material is distinguished by their date of creation- historical, modern, and contemporary. The pieces derive from the ancient Indian traditions of Hindu, Jain, Tantra philosophy, and relate to cosmology- an understanding of the universe and our relationship to it. This covers a variety of approaches and disciplines including astrology, astronomy, devotion, divination, healing, meditation, and yoga.
The gathering of works made between late 19th century to early 20th century, is anonymous by nature as not one of pieces is signed. Here we have examples of Yantras, Mantras, and vernacular, folk art. There is a Yantra dedicated to Hanuman the monkey god who is devoted to Rama, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Alexander Gorlizki explains “A Yantra is a codified spiritual diagram that depicts the underlying structure of the universe according to Tantric practice using symbolic icons, geometric patterns as well as occasional figurative references to a deity. As tools for meditation and rituals the diagrams help to focus the mind of the practitioner to use the senses as fuel for transformation and spiritual unity.” * The Mantras are manuscripts of the repetition of Sanskrit names of deities, such as Rama. There’s a group of erotic drawings related to the Kama Sutra, a few written works originating from pages of manuscripts, and illustrations from the Ramayana, the poem of the life of Rama, a supreme god in Hinduism.
The modern work is represented by four exquisite depictions of Shaligrams, created by Badrinath Pandit, (c. 1915 -1999), a Hindu priest and astrologer based in Jaipur. The sacred stones represent characteristics of the Hindu god Vishnu and were painted using natural pigments circa 1960. There is a suite of six Brahmandas, (also known as “Cosmic Eggs”), made between 1990-2000’s, attributed to the artist Kalu Ram (1950-2008), who painted all manner of Tantric material. The large Shaligram chart in the exhibition, with its glossy sheen of dense pigments, is also by Kalu Ram.
About Magic Markings:
British born, New York based artist, Alexander Gorlizki began traveling and working in a studio in Jaipur, Rajasthan twenty three years ago. There he met Riyaz, an Indian miniature painter, whom he collaborated with in his own artworks, and who introduced Gorlizki to many of the works in what would grow to become Magic Markings, a vast collection of Indian ritual art. Magic Markings was invited to exhibit at the Outsider Art Fair in 2016-2018, and has been included in shows in galleries in the US and Europe.
For further details and press images, please contact Jane Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 347 278 1500.
“Vāstu Puruṣa, The Cosmic Man,” Rajasthan, Late 20th century, 8.5 x 6 in.
Kalu Ram, “Brahmanda: The Cosmic Egg,” Rajasthan, c. 1990, 11 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
Indian Drawings, installation view, 33 Orchard NYC.