Harish Saluja, a painter, filmmaker, radio host, and director of a Asian arts & culture nonprofit, recently shared his newest paintings in a show titled “Mandalas and Deities,” at the Mendelson Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.  While Saluja’s earlier successes as a painter came as he explored Indian music and Jazz through his unique abstract expressionist lens, his recent works were an exploration of Buddhist and Hindu themes and imagery.  I think they’re great. via Kurt Shaw, art critic for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

In his “Mandala and Deity Series” paintings, his latest set of works on canvas, he has started incorporating figurative and semi-abstract images with abstraction. The result is a sumptuous, almost-erotic celebration of joy. Mandala is Sanskrit for circle, polygon, community and connection. It is a symbol of man or woman in the world, a support for the meditating person. It is often illustrated as a palace with four gates, facing the four corners of the Earth. Before the meditating person arrives at the gates, he/she must pass the four outer circles. Mandalas and images of deities have been painted for centuries. But almost always these have been quite well-structured, precise and representational. “I have attempted to give these formats a new look of abstract expressionism,” Saluja says. Most of his work can be defined as “freedom within boundaries,” Saluja says, that is taking liberties within a structure. There is a homogeneous quality to each work, a wholesomeness. However, when examined carefully one sees an abandon, a freedom, a recklessness within each.

Read the complete article here. Photo by Andrew Russell of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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