As our weather continues to warm into spring, it feels as if we’re going through a collective transformation as society (hopefully) moves beyond the more social-distanced life of COVID-19. Of course, we don’t want to jinx this, but allow us to give a friendly alt. weekly recommendation for a beautiful new VMFA exhibition that seems to fit the transformative vibe in the air.
Note: Style will be running a longer review of this show soon, but that doesn’t mean we must wait to remind you about this new exhibition from a Nepalese-born, Tibetan American artist: “Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits” is on display now in the Evans Court Gallery at VMFA through Oct. 16, 2022. It’s the globally recognized artist’s first solo museum exhibition, as well as a focused mid-career retrospective curated by Dr. John Henry Rice, VMFA’s E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art.
Sherpa’s colorful paintings and sculptures are presented in the form of a “narrative telling a story of loss, struggle, and re-empowerment,” according to the VMFA’s website, which notes that the artist’s work was last seen at the museum in the 2019 exhibition “Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment.”
But until we have our own piece ready, we’ll simply provide more information (and an artist video) straight from the VMFA:
Tsherin Sherpa’s works are grounded in the traditional Buddhist art of his training but stretch, bend, reconfigure, and repurpose its forms to explore contemporary concerns. The exhibition’s 36 paintings and sculptures trace the evolution of his “Spirits” series whose subjects resemble Tibetan Buddhist deities transformed by the modern world. Dislocated from their home—an experience familiar to the artist and communities all over the world—these figures move from grief and confusion, to courage and self-assurance, to triumph and wisdom. In their multiple manifestations, the Spirits reveal the power and endurance of transformation.”
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors 65+, youth 7–17 and college students with identification. The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, and active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.The exhibition is free for VMFA members, but everyone still needs to check availability and reserve a 30-minute time window to visit; you can do that here.
Also, here’s a video of the artist speaking about his work: