Zentrified!

Curated by Ken Johnson
Zentrified! presents mind-teasing paintings and sculptures by 10 artists:
Gail Fitzgerald, Al Freeman, Tom Friedman, Matt Hoyt, Carl Ostendarp, Nathaniel Robinson, Ah-Bin Shim, Alice Tippit, Christina Tenaglia, and Alexi Worth. 

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That is a curious title.

Indeed. It suggests that something has been dramatically affected by Zen.

 

What is Zen?

A way of life and thinking.

 

What’s the way?

“An open-eyed man falling into the well.”

 

That is a puzzling definition.

It’s not a definition; it’s a famous koan.

 

What is a koan?

A saying, question or story, sometimes comical, which seems nonsensical to common sense but can provoke enlightenment in one who understands it.

“What is the sound of one hand clapping?” is a well-known example.

 

Oh, yes, I know that one. So what is enlightenment?

Liberation from the chains of conventional thinking.

 

That sounds like a good thing. Can a work of art be a koan?

I don’t see why not. Maybe the works in this exhibition will enlighten us.