Kamini Avril “From the Caves”

Kamini Avril’s exhibit at Bowery Gallery represents a lifelong interest in Eastern thought and mythology.    Her recent paintings and drawings inspired by a visit to the early Buddhist caves in Ellora, India will be on view  November 1 -26, 2016.

Avril’s paintings take inspiration from the caves and at the same time embrace the mystery and materiality of paint on canvas.

In a catalog essay Avril writes: “From the darkness of the caves emerge figures carved from living rock, embodying movement, energy and light telling stories that direct the mind to its source”.

ganesh-2015-oil-on-canvas-72x66Ganesh, 2015, oil on canvas, 72×66 inches

Avril  reimagines the carved images and tells the story from her own perspective,  using paint to “carve” her figures on large scale canvas.  Paint and light are the unifying ground; air becomes solid, rock becomes liquid, and the brushstrokes quiver with fiery intensity.

balance-2016-o_o_c-78x66in

Balance, 2016,  Oil on Canvas,  78×66 inches

nairatmya-2015_o_o_c-74x66in

Naratmya, 2015, Oil on canvas, 74 x66 inches

She says, “The physicality of paint is like the surface of the cave, at once resistant and fluid…. visual space and actual ground, in which forms are interwoven.   The image comes to life only as it is painted.

puja-2016-o_o_c78x66in

Puja, 2016,  Oil on canvas, 78×66 inches

The figure cannot be separated from its surroundings, as both are extensions of its force – an expression of the Buddhist saying (the Prajnaparamita); Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.

flying2016-o_o_c90x78in

Flying, 2016, Oil on Canvas,  90×78 inches

For Avril, the cave is a metaphor for an inner silence.  It is for her a source of inspiration, and to enter the cave is to silence thought, accept the unknown and allow deeper feelings and images to be revealed.

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dancer12-char-on-p-48x36in

dancer-2016-monoprint-16-x-9_avril

Also,  in the exhibit are Avril’s beautiful  drawings. ( on the left , Dancer monoprint, 16 x 9 inches.  On the right, Dancer ( 12) Charcoal on Paper, 48×36 inches.

*dancer-13-2016-charcoal-chalk-on-paper-40x30

Dancer (13) 2016, charcoal, chalk on paper 40×30

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For this writer, Avril’s work reminds us that making art can be, and often is…ones spiritual practice.  These paintings give concrete form to a spirit engaged.

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 Kamini Avril

“From the Caves”

November 1 -26 2016

Reception: Saturday, Nov 5,  3 – 6 pm

Artist’s Talk: Saturday, Nov 19 4pm

Artist’s Website: kaminiavril.com

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Bowery Gallery

530 West 25th Street, 4th Floor

NY, NY 10001

Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat  11 – 6 and until 8pm Thursday, Nov 3

info@bowerygallery.org

*DIANE DRESCHER

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