The late artist, poet and Tantric guru Sohan Qadri was one of the few modern painters of note deeply engaged with spirituality. He abandoned representation early on, incorporating Tantric symbolism and philosophy into his vibrantly colored minimalist works. He began his process by covering the surface of heavy paper with structural effects by soaking it in liquid and carving it in stages with sharp tools while applying inks and dyes. As a result, the paper was transformed from a flat surface into a three-dimensional medium. The repetition of careful incisions on the paper was an integral part of his meditation. Having lived and worked in more than a dozen countries, Qadri was one of India’s many post-Independence artists who form a sprawling diaspora. He once said, “I did not want to confine myself to one place, nation and community….My approach to life has been universal, and so is my art.”
Qadri was initiated into yogic practice at age seven in India, his birthplace. In 1965, he left India and began a series of travels that took him to East Africa, North America and Europe. After settling in Copenhagen in the 1970s, Qadri participated in more than forty one-man shows, in Mumbai, Vienna, Brussels, London, Oslo, Stockholm, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles and New York.
Sohan Qadri’s works are included in the British Museum, London; the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts; the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; as well as the private collections of Cirque du Soleil, Heinrich Böll and Dr. Robert Thurman. In 2011, Skira Editore published the monograph Sohan Qadri: The Seer.
Born in Chachoki, Punjab, India, 1932 and died in 2011 | Lived and worked in Copenhagen and Toronto
Akriti I, 2007, ink and dye on paper, 55 x 39 inches/139.7 x 99.1 cm
Vijaya, 2010, ink and dye on paper, 55 x 39 inches/139.7 x 99.1 cm
With thanks to a private collector.
Suphala III, 2008, ink and dye on paper, 55 x 39 inches/139.7 x 99.1 cm