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“From India: Contemporary Anonymous Tantra Paintings on Paper”

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An exquisite show: nineteen small, untitled paintings on paper by anonymous artists in the Indian state of Rajasthan, created between 1989 and 1999. Yet these works are much more “ancient” than their dates allow. Revisited from generation to generation, the images interpret traditional iconographic themes that have been appearing in Hindu tantric texts since the seventeenth century. The goal of tantra is to allow the practitioner to reach higher levels of consciousness, and finally enlightenment, through postures (asanas), gestures (mudras), mantras, breathing techniques, visualization, and codified meditation, necessary to reawaken the kundalini energy. Kundalini (“coiled up” in Sanskrit) refers to the female energy Shakti, said to exist in latent form in every human being as in every atom. Tantric practice brings this female energy into union with Shiva, the pure consciousness that

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