Artist, poet and Tantric guru Sohan Qadri (1932–2011) is one of the only internationally acclaimed artists deeply engaged with spirituality. Qadri abandoned representation early on in his long career, incorporating Tantric symbolism and philosophy into his vibrantly colored minimalist works.
Qadri was born and raised in northern India, where he was exposed to Sufism, Hinduism and Sikhism. In search of a process that would enable art making while in a meditative state, Qadri found his spiritual medium in paper. He covered sheets of heavy, bespoke paper with structural effects by soaking them in liquid and carving them in several stages while applying inks and dyes. In the process, he transformed the paper from a flat surface into a three-dimensional medium. The repetition of careful incisions was an integral part of his yogic practice.
Work by Sohan Qadri, who spent most of his life in Europe and North America, is included in the permanent collections of The British Museum, New Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum and The Rubin Museum of Art in New York, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.