Dusti Bongé Buddhist inspired watercolor

Another Buddhist inspired artwork this week in our partnership with the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation. Notice the size – 6 by 5 inches. Remarkable Bongé can pack so much intrigue into an artwork that size.

Analysis of the painting, as always, comes from Dusti Bongé Art Foundation Executive Director Ligia M. Römer.

Dusti Bongé, Untitled (Blue Circle with Black Abstract), 1984, watercolor on paper, 6” x 5 ½”

Here is a small watercolor painting from the 1980s reminiscent of the large, Zen-Buddhist inspired void paintings Dusti Bongé did around that time. Having long been interested in Buddhism, Dusti lived by its tenets in her daily life as well as in her artistic pursuits.

Dusti’s voids were based on the Buddhist concept referring to “emptiness” or “voidness” which teaches that everything one encounters in life is empty of absolute identity or permanence, because ultimately everything is interrelated.  This idea applies to everything around us, and ourselves as well. This is not a nihilistic way of understanding the world, but rather a transcendent one. What makes the voids so compelling is that Dusti is both trying to achieve a kind of transcendent state in her act of painting as well as trying to capture this notion of transcendence in her work.

In this watercolor there is an interplay between the black marks against the circular blue shape. While the large horizontal black ovoid form below the circle seems to anchor the other black marks, once they start overlapping into the blue, their presence becomes much more ethereal, suggesting that there is no permanence. In addition, even though both the blue circle and the main black marks are almost centered, the painting achieves a sense of balance without relying on actual symmetry.

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