Archive for January, 2014

Freer Gallery, Washington DC, January 4, 2014

Monday, January 6th, 2014

The entrance to the yogic art exhibit at the Freer

The entrance to the yogic art exhibit at the Freer

Saturday morning, January 4, 2014 I had the opportunity to take in the special exhibit of yogic art at the Freer Gallery, one of the Smithsonian buildings on the National Mall, in our nation’s great capital. Just as we finished, the docent started the guided tour and so we tagged along and saw it again, hearing more detail about some of the pieces.

The yogic art is in terrific shape. The sculptures are missing very few of their parts and pieces (noses are mostly gone, an arm or two might be missing – but they often are depicted with four or six arms). Even so, they convey power, serenity, and beauty.

One of the surprising things to me was the vibrancy of the colors in the printed pieces. It’s hard to believe these drawings and paintings are more than 100 years old. The reds and blues are so rich.

The exhibit ends with a large screen with videos playing. The screen is divided into six parts and it shows film from 1938 of BKS Iyengar and his teacher, Kristamacharya, doing yoga. It’s great to watch them, seemingly effortlessly go from one excruciatingly difficult pose (or in my case, currently impossible) to another. And at one point, at the completion of a pose, Iyengar turns turns to the camera and flashes a little smile. It’s a great moment.

Well worth the trip, the exhibit is only in DC until the end of the month. It will travel to Cleveland and San Francisco later this year.