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Revolutionary Artist of Tibet, A: Khyentse Chenmo of Gongkar
Published by Rubin Museum of Art
Published in conjunction with an exhibition organized and presented by the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, September 5, 2014 through February 2, 2015.
In A Revolutionary Artist of Tibet author David Jackson focuses on the Khyenri style, the least known among the three major painting styles of Tibet, dating from the mid-fifteenth through the seventeenth century. The painting of Khyentse Chenmo, the founder of the Khyenri style who flourished from the 1450s to the 1490s, was significant for his radical rejection of the prevailing, classic Indic (especially Nepalese-inspired) styles with formal red backgrounds, enthusiastically replacing them with the intense greens and blues of Chinese landscapes. Khyentse was famed for his fine and realistic looking work, both as a painter and sculptor. His painting style has often been overlooked or misunderstood by scholarssometimes misidentified as an early example of the Karma Gardri style but it is a missing link in the history of Tibetan painting. The Khyenri style is now most closely linked with a small sub-school of the Sakya tradition, the Gongkarwa. The most important in-situ murals of the Khyenri style survive at the Gongkar Monastery in southern Tibet, south of Lhasa near the Gongkar airport. There we find murals by the hand of Khyentse Chenmo himself; many of them were covered by a layer of whitewash and thus escaped destruction during the Cultural Revolution. Jackson also brings to light several of Khyentse's paintings in museums outside Tibet, including some that have been unrecognized for over a century.
David P. Jackson is the author of A History of Tibetan Painting and the Rubin Museum of Arts Masterworks of Tibetan Painting series, including Patron and Painter: Situ Panchen and the Revival of the Encampment Style; The Nepalese Legacy in Tibetan Painting; Mirror of the Buddha: Early Portraits from Tibet; The Place of Provenance: Regional Styles in Tibetan Painting; and Painting Traditions of the Drigung Kagyu School.
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