Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits

February 19 – October 16, 2022

Evans Court Gallery

About the Exhibition

Explore the captivating paintings and sculptures of Nepalese-born Tibetan American artist Tsherin Sherpa. This thought-provoking, participatory art experience is presented in the form of a narrative telling a story of loss, struggle, and re-empowerment. Last seen at VMFA in the 2019 exhibition Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment, Sherpa’s groundbreaking artwork continues to garner international acclaim. This focused mid-career retrospective is the global artist’s first solo museum exhibition.

Tsherin Sherpa’s works are grounded in the traditional Buddhist art of his training but stretch, bend, reconfigure, and repurpose its forms to explore contemporary concerns. The exhibition’s 36 paintings and sculptures trace the evolution of his “Spirits” series whose subjects resemble Tibetan Buddhist deities transformed by the modern world. Dislocated from their home—an experience familiar to the artist and communities all over the world—these figures move from grief and confusion, to courage and self-assurance, to triumph and wisdom. In their multiple manifestations, the Spirits reveal the power and endurance of transformation.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. John Henry Rice, VMFA’s E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art.


Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.


Spirits (Metamorphosis), 2019–20, Tsherin Sherpa (American, born Nepal, 1968), acrylic and ink on canvas. Private Collection

Events + Activities

Curator's Opening Talk:
A Conversation with Tsherin Sherpa

Thu, Feb 17, 6:30–7:30pm | Leslie Cheek Theater

$8 (VMFA Members $5)

Member Preview | Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits

Thu, Feb 17, 5–9 pm & Fri, Feb 18, 10 am–9 pm
Evans Court Gallery, Level 2

VMFA members only. Advanced reservations recommended.