Venice, CA -- L.A. Louver is pleased to present Beginningless Inexhaustible Empty, an exhibition of recent works by L.A.-based artist Tom Wudl.
Over the past decade, Wudl has taken inspiration from the revered Buddhist teaching, the Avatamsaka Sutra (The Flower Ornament Scripture), to create an ongoing series of painstakingly detailed paintings, drawings and prints in response to the text’s evocative and profound literary descriptions. Featured among the 12 works in the exhibition Radiance of Sublime Reality Filling the Cosmos without End, which measures 60 x 72 inches (152.4 x 182.9 cm.), is the largest work Wudl has created on the subject to date. Although larger
in scale, the painting is imbued with the same intensity of detail and
complexity inherent in all of the works on view.
Considered one of “the most colorful and dramatic rehearsals of Buddhist teachings,” the sutra’s primary purpose is to encourage meditation. It illustrates the world as it appears to the Buddha, where all things are interconnected and interdependent within a cosmos of infinite realms. Just as the sutra implicates the interdependency of all things, each work of art is interconnected and may be viewed as fragments that inform the collective whole; every meticulous intricacy speaks to the wonderment and reverie demonstrated in the writings.
“The ground was solid and firm, made of diamond, adorned with exquisite jewel discs and myriad precious flowers, with pure clear crystals. The finest jewels appeared spontaneously, raining inexhaustible quantities of gems and beautiful flowers all over the earth. By the Buddha’s spiritual power, he caused all the adornments of this enlightenment site to be reflected therein.” Cleary, Thomas. The Flower Ornament Scripture (A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra). p.55
Although inspired by Buddhist teachings, the works themselves are not intended to be sacred icons. However, Wudl follows the long tradition of artists, such as Caspar David Friedrich, Vincent Van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich and Agnes Martin, who merge aesthetics and mysticism by employing formal conventions to visually represent that which defies verbal description.