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Art and Practice with The Heart Sutra

Toward Re-organization — Related Posts: The Aristotelian Detour, Field Mapping, Toward an Experimental Politics of Nonviolence Most of us spend our lives avoiding the Heart Sutra, but it pursues us anyway like a heat-seeking missile, even while also rising up around us like the petals of the famous lotus flower. Allow me to explain. Blossom of Inexhaustible Kindness, 2013, by Tom Wudl We tend to assume that, at least in principle, there is nothing we may not know. The idea that being born, say, in the second half of the twentieth century in the US of A might limit or shape what we may know seems odd to us, insulting almost. And yet periods of history are defined by styles of thinking, root ideas and … [Read more...]

Immensities and Infinities

Further Specimens from the Flowerbank World, Tom Wudl, L.A. Louver Gallery, June 2 through July 9 2011 – Immensities and  Infinities: Further Specimens from the Flowerbank World is the artist Tom Wudl's continuing investigation of the Avatamasaka Sutra (or Flower Ornament Sutra), a revered scripture of Huayan Buddhism. Earlier works by Wudl inspired by the sutra were first exhibited at L.A. Louver in Specimens from the Flowerbank World, November-December 2009. Read here the Artforum review by Annie Buckley. There was a time when the world was small and man knew his place in it....Today, space is expanding beyond the reaches of the imagination....we inhabit immensities and infinities that also inhabit us. I have … [Read more...]

Thoughts Regarding Alice Neel

Alice Neel: Paintings, LA Louver Gallery, Venice, California, May 20-June 26, 2010 Alice Neel’s biography confirms what all true artists know. There will be pain at either end of the equation that attempts to reconcile creativity with survival. For all true artists it is create or die. The difficult negotiation between the need to create and the longing for the promise of domestic stability and companionship has been a source of pain for both artists and their families always. Even the stoics who tough it out by themselves don’t escape loneliness. And for Neel there too existed a marginalization by the declared professionals of the day; the same sycophants who now cannot find praise enough, ignored her work within the confines of her own … [Read more...]

Tom Wudl, LA Louver Gallery, November 2009

Specimens from the Flowerbank World These paintings and drawings were inspired by the Avatamsaka Sutra. The English translation of its title—Flower Ornament Sutra—discloses the obvious relation between text and image. It would however be inaccurate to view these works as illustrations of the book, since they do not coincide with any specific descriptions of imagery in the sutra. It might be more appropriate to say that the images reflect the very rich content of the book. Inexhaustible Benefit, 2009, Oil on linen, 4 3/8" x 4 3/4" For instance, the proliferation of the tiny club motif is representative of the elaborate descriptions of phenomena so characteristic of the book’s literary style. “The finest jewels appeared spontaneously, … [Read more...]

Tom Wudl, 3 New Works – Preview, LA Louver Show, November 2009

A preview of artist Tom Wudl's work for his upcoming solo exhibition opening November 12th at LA Louver Gallery, Venice CA. "My current interest is not the universal application of symbols, but the language of art itself. Where paint and image with their infinite malleability, their capacity for nuance, their challenge to mastery, beckon, beguile, and seduce into a labyrinth of mystery where I find refuge from the savagery of the world and where my inclination towards the sacredness of life is confirmed." — Tom Wudl Study for Flower Ornament Sutra 5, 2009 Oil on Paper Image: 4 1/2" x 5 1/8", Paper: 7 1/2"x 8 1/8" Study for Flower Ornament Sutra 4, 2009 Graphite on Paper Size: 9 1/4" x 13" Study for Flower Ornament Sutra 3, … [Read more...]