Installation view of three large artworks hung together

Installation view of the exhibition Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art, in the CU Art Museum, on view February 14 – April 4, 2015, Photo: Jeff Wells, © CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder

Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art

February 14–May 9, 2015

Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art explores the tensions between an ancient culture’s unbroken artistic tradition and the personality-driven contemporary art world. Historically, Himalayan works of art were used to support the transmission of Buddhism and rarely attributed to the individual artist. The artworks selected for Anonymous reflect how Tibetan artists around the world examine questions of identity, self-expression and the roles of tradition in an increasingly globalized society.

Largely drawn from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection, the exhibition features painting, sculpture, installation and new media works by artists living in the Himalayas and around the world. In addition to artists from Lhasa, others from Dharamsala, Kathmandu, New York City, Oakland, Paris, Thimphu and Zürich provide a range of diasporic perspectives on topics ranging from ideas of place to cultural appropriation, and the commodification of Buddhist traditions.

Many of the works were created expressly for this exhibition, which originated at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz before traveling to the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont, and most recently the Queens Museum in New York.

In addition to Anonymous, and to highlight developments since Waves on the Turquoise Lake in 2006—our first museum exhibition dedicated to contemporary Himalayan art in America—the CU Art Museum exhibits other contemporary Tibetan works drawn from our permanent collection and on loan from CU faculty members.

Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art was supported by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Anonymous at the CU Art Museum was supported in part by the HBB Foundation, CU Art Museum members and CU Boulder Student Arts and Cultural Enrichment fees.