"Gurdjieff Tradition in Art" at Gallery 26 | Rock Candy

"Gurdjieff Tradition in Art" at Gallery 26

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Vala Enard, Untitled
  • Vala Enard, "Untitled"

"1.13.77: Influences of the Gurdjieff Tradition in Art," artwork influenced by the spiritual teachings of George I. Gurdjieff, will be presented by the Gurdjieff Foundation of Arkansas from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Gallery 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., the 135th anniversary of Gurdjieff's birth.

Paul Reynard, Andre Enard, Vala Hafsted Enard, William Segal, Christopher Fremantle and others in the show were teachers and followers of Gurdjieff, known as the creator of the "fourth way" of self-enlightenment; works were curated by the group in Little Rock. The show also includes pieces by contemporary regional artists with ties to the Gurdjieff Foundation, some from private collections and others on loan from New York and Chicago.

A press release from the Little Rock foundation asks the question, "Does an artist’s lifetime of spiritual work show through the strokes of his or her brush?"

Photographer Ansel Adams once said, “How high your awareness level is determines how much meaning you get from your world.” A cornerstone of Gurdjieff’s teaching is the need to become more deeply aware, of our inner and outer surroundings—a quest that resonates for many artists. Each of the artists in “1.13.77” had a thirst for such deeper meaning, and each one found a resonance in Gurdjieff’s teachings. Yet each remained an individual with his or her own artistic vision. The artwork collected here represents the work of those whose commitment to both art and Gurdjieff’s teaching spanned as much as six decades. Several of these artists knew Gurdjieff personally, and all were eventually tasked with passing the tradition to others in many cities across the United States and Mexico.

For the many artists and writers who clustered around him, Gurdjieff’s ideas on attention were a challenge and a call to find something more real within themselves. Andre Enard, a New York painter who mentored the work of Arkansas’s Gurdjieff Foundation for several decades, once said: “If it is true … that attention is the breathing of God, a divine energy — and I feel that more and more — if you can carry that through a painting or music, people will receive it … That is my aim, in a way. That is sacred art. I don’t pretend that I am able to do that, but I feel something.”

Gallery talks will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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