Duration: 25 October 2010 – 30 November 2010
Opening Reception- November 4th, 5:30-8:30pm
Artist Talk- November 4th, 7pm
Mount Kailash, the ancient sacred site of the "sky burials" entered Ricardo Mazal's life as the source material for the third part of his remarkable visual trilogy at the suggestion of a friend. Upon viewing images of the mountain in photographs Mazal was immediately struck by the dramatic striations that move across the sacred mountain's surface and recognized forms that had, coincidentally, been a part of his highly abstract oil paintings for years. Indeed the similarities are striking to anyone who has even a glancing familiarity with Mazal's work. The paintings that have come out of his own personal pilgrimage trek, or KORA, around Kailash, in June and July of 2009 are arguably some of the best of his incredible oeuvre. That he and the mountain should have come together now feels inevitable.
KORA follows the direction begun by La Tumba de La Reina Roja (The tomb of the Red Queen) inspired by an incredible archeological find in the jungle near Palenque, Mexico, and Odenwald 1152, an exploration based upon a unique "cemetery forest" near Michelstadt, Germany. What ties the trilogy together is that all three bodies of work explore afresh the timeless themes of life, death, spirit, earth, and most of all transformation, through an intense visual program that encompasses digital photography, drawing, video and installation art as the keys to an unique gestural language that Mazal has developed and enacts within his powerful, large-scale abstract oils paintings.
The book is divided into three separate but deeply interrelated series. The Mount Kailash pieces are dramatic, sublime, and nearly as overwhelming to behold as the world's most holy mountain. Cajas (Boxes) come from the finely powdered, brilliantly chromatic pigments sold in the markets of Asia Minor, and afford Mazal a stunning foray into geometric abstraction and another opportunity to work in the operatic realm of powdered pigment installation. Finally, the Prayer Flags based upon the movement and color of the Buddhist banners that mark specific points of the pilgrimage kora (the circumambulation around the mountain) as they write their visual song upon the wind are some the most ecstatic images of Mazal's impressive career. The journey is circular, the trilogy complete.