By Howard Pousner
Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum has announced a major exhibit for 2012: “Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism,” Jan. 21-April 15. The show of more than 100 representations of the “perfect circle,” as mandalas are called, will be drawn from the collection of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York and other museums and private collections from around the world.
“Visitors will find mandalas conceived as concentric circles, circles within squares, squares within circles, lotus blossoms, six-pronged stars, or inverted, crossed triangles,” according to a Carlos release. “A deity, sometimes with a partner, is usually situated in the middle of the central disk, surrounded by four, six, eight, ten, twelve, or more assembly deities set in an additional circle. As such, the mandala’s very construct graphically mirrors the Buddhist notion of the cosmos and of the human being. In addition to paintings, reliquaries, and amulets, the exhibition includes tapestries, sculptures, and utensils used in sacred ceremonies and a time-lapse film of a mandala formed in sand.”
Simultaneously, Emory’s Visual Arts Gallery will mount “Contemporary Mandala: New Audiences, New Forms.” A mandala by New York artist and Morehouse College alumnus Sanford Biggers will form the centerpiece of the gallery, providing a space for music and dance. Surrounding this performance space will be the works of artists Don Cooper, Faith McClure, Christopher McNulty, Andra Samelson, King Thackston and Marcia Vaitsman.
Information: www.carlos.emory.edu/mandala and www.visualarts.emory.edu.