SACRED | Practice

Thunderstorm, Yosemite Valley, California
Thunderstorm, Yosemite Valley, California
Ansel Adams, 1945
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Fred Scheel 98.144.28
Uber das Geistige in der Kunst
Uber das Geistige in der Kunst
Vassily Kandinsky, Published by R. Piper and Co. , Munich, 1912
Woodcuts, illustrations, letterpress
The Mary and Robyn Campbell Fund for Art Books 2000.14
Yamantaka Mandala
Monks of the Gyuto Tantric University
Yamantaka Mandala
colored silicate and adhesive on wood
Gift of funds from the Gyuto Tantric University; 3M; Construction Materials, Inc.; and the Asian Art Council 92.44
Page from the Koran
Page from the Koran
12th century
Ink, colors and gold on paper
Bequest of Mrs. Margaret McMillan Webber in memory of her mother, Katherine Kittredge McMillan 51.37.5
Gallery 180

That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul. —Vassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art

For Vassily Kandinsky, the Russian theorist and pioneer of abstract art, the creative impulse sprang naturally, even uncontrollably, from within. And it’s true of many other artists, for whom creativity, spirituality, and beauty are closely linked, often in deeply personal and individualistic ways. In other contexts, such as the laborious creation of a Tibetan sand mandala or the flourishes of an Islamic calligrapher’s pen, artistic expression is an act of religious devotion that begins in the artist’s mind and heart long before images or words are created. The works of art on display in this installation investigate art-making as spiritual practice, involving mental or physical preparation, mindfulness, receptivity, incubation, and expressive energy transmitted from artist to artwork and artwork to viewer.

— Karleen Gardner, director of learning and innovation with Amanda Thompson Rundahl, innovation engineer