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Tenzing Rigdol's "Kirti -- From the Ashes of Agony"

Last fall, the International Writing Program, in partnership with the University of Iowa Museum of Art(UIMA) and through the support the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, welcomed Tibetan poet and visual artist Tenzing Rigdol to Iowa City for a special six-week residency. Since the 2008 flood and its damage to the university’s arts campus, the UIMA has been encouraging artists to respond to its centerpiece holding, Jackson Pollock's “Mural, 1943,” a seminal work of abstract expressionism donated to the University of Iowa by Peggy Guggenheim in 1951.  The black-and-white “Kirti – From the Ashes of Agony”—Rigdol considers it “visual poetry”—addresses the recent wave of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting Chinese rule. 

 

“In 2011 [at the same time he was in residence in Iowa], there were 12 self-immolation cases by Tibetans and they could all be traced back to the Kirti monastery in Tibet,” writes Rigdol on his gallery’s website. “These episodes of unfortunate and desperate events deeply disturbed me and made me rethink about Tibet. And the result is this painting.”

Here's Rigdol's painting, alongside the Pollock for comparison. More information about Rigdol and his work is available at his gallerist's website: Rossi & Rossi.

Tenzing Rigdol's 'Kriti - From the Ashes of Agony'
Tenzing Rigdol's 'Kriti - From the Ashes of Agony'

 

Jackson Pollock's 'Mural, 1943'
Jackson Pollock's 'Mural, 1943'

 

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