Wild little things

Anonymous, Untitled (Kali), collection of Léonie Guyer. Photo: Lezlie Vincent.

Anonymous, Untitled (Kali), collection of Léonie Guyer. Photo: Lezlie Vincent.

Wild little things
That shine
Obstinately

— Franck André Jamme, “Tantra Song

Life changes in a moment, as in the apprehension of love. One day in the ’80s in the library of the San Francisco Art Institute, a book fell into my hands. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about Tantra paintings. A centuries-old tradition that continues into the present, these rare anonymous works are made by Rajasthani tantrikas for use in private meditation. Larry Rinder’s memorable exhibition Searchlight: Consciousness at the Millennium at The Wattis Institute in 1999 included a roomful of Tantra paintings. In my initial encounter with the real thing, I felt as though the space between my molecules expanded. Each small work, a locus of concentrated radiant energy, held vastness. Returning to the exhibition week after week, I had the good fortune to always be alone in the gallery. Wall labels told me the paintings were from the collection of Franck André Jamme. Not recognizing his name, I soon learned Franck is a great poet, curator and scholar. Later Franck and I became collaborators and friends. In various circumstances, I’ve spent hours contemplating unframed Tantra paintings held in my hands. Each time it’s been a kind of miracle.

Anonymous, untitled (Pure Consciousness), collection of Léonie Guyer. Photo: Lezlie Vincent.

Anonymous, Untitled (Pure Consciousness), collection of Léonie Guyer. Photo: Lezlie Vincent.

Archive: working drawings

All works by Léonie Guyer.

All works by Léonie Guyer.

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