Bringing together paintings and sculptures from half a dozen religious traditions, works of contemporary art, a wealth of documentary images and texts — and as the focal point the ideas and example of Mohandas K. Gandhi — the Menil Collection will present Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence.
Organized by Menil director Josef Helfenstein in consultation with the noted Indian artist Amar Kanwar, the exhibition is the first to trace the resonance of the ethic of nonviolence in the visual arts throughout the centuries and around the world. Opening Oct. 2, (the 145th anniversary of Gandhi's birth), Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence will remain on view through Feb. 1, 2015.
Echoing the title of Gandhi's autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1927), the exhibition presents more than 130 artworks, artifacts and documents that shed light on the theme of nonviolent change — from a stone sculpture of a meditating Jina (seventh century, northeastern India) and a folio of the Quran (mid-seventh century, possibly Medina) through an abstract woodcut by Zarina (2013) and a mixed-media work by Theaster Gates (2014). Also on view will be images of figures from the Abolitionists to Aung San Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama, dramatic photographs of events in the Civil Rights movement and documents such as a letter by Albert Einstein on resistance to the Holocaust.