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Thomas Murray


Recent Acquisitions: Tibetan Rugs, Ainu, Boro

March 14 – 22, 2024

One of the standout offerings for this upcoming Asia Week New York exhibit is a late 19th/early 20th century exceptionally rare and beautiful white on indigo Kaparamip Robe, a striking geometric pattern rooted in Northern Asiastic Shamanism and an aesthetically compelling example of a classic garment type. It features graphic patterns deeply rooted in Northern Asiatic shamanism and the ten-thousand-year-old Jomon Culture of the islands of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, the Kurils and the Siberian mainland around the mouth of the Amur River. These motifs are visionary, and share affinities with ancient Chinese, Mongol, Eskimo and Pacific Northwest Coast design pools. This piece, along with many other fine works will be displayed at The Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.


Transformation Masks

It has been fashionable of late to access the merits of tribal art in a decontextualized manner. We often use a language of connoisseurship to assign aesthetic value to a ritual object now defined as a work of art. This, despite the fact that when it was created such criterion may never have been remotely considered. Instead, indigenous ideals of beauty based on ancestral traditions and iconic efficacy would have been more important.

To this end, an art brut mask may be more effective in ceremonies than a conventionally pretty mask and therefore be handed down for more generations and develop a deep patina as a result.

We present here a sampling of masks from the Himalayas and Indonesia that was presented along with contemporary works from the Shamanic Mask Series by sculptor Mort Golub that shared common themes of animism and transformation.

To view the exhibition, click here.