With the news that the Dalai Lama retiring from politics making headlines, now is the perfect time to learn more about the Tibetan people, as they reluctantly decide who could possibly replace his holiness to be their leader. (In contrast to other areas, where those pesky leaders just won’t step down!) Luckily, New York has not one but three different exhibitions currently up that explore different facets of this amazing culture and its art:
“Body and Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings”
The 64 Tibetan medical paintings (or tangkas) on display are reproductions of late 17th-century scrolls that illustrated the medical knowledge of the time.
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West (at 79th St)
“Rugs and Ritual in Tibetan Buddhism”
Through Sunday, March 27th
Buddhism’s tenet of detachment from the body is referenced in these magnificent carpets, which often depict the splayed pelt of an animal in a manner that oscillates between representation and abstraction.
1000 Fifth Ave (at 82nd St)
“The Nepalese Legacy in Tibetan Painting”
Through May 23rd
Rubin Museum of Art
The Beri style of art making, which is now Tibet’s preeminent aesthetic in traditional art, in fact originates in Nepal. In the 13th century, when Indian Buddhism was eliminated, Tibetan artists, seeking inspiration, turned to their neighboring country’s culture. This exhibition traces the legacy of this artistic development.
150 West 17th Street