Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spotlight on a versatile contemporary Indian painter and print maker

Alwar Balasubramaniam's oeuvre strives to express the oft-overlooked, unseen and the inexpressible – people and issues. His unconventional sculptural forms refer to philosophical concerns and raise discomforting questions. They not only bring forth his ideas but also denote his meticulous search process.

The versatile painter and print maker, equally proficient at handling mixed media and sculpture, is keen to experiment with an array of materials like fiberglass and wax. He produces often very tactile and very physical forms to explore fundamental issues related to human existence, such as what defines the self and what is that confines us. It denotes his quest for the ungraspable and unspeakable. Through their implicit immateriality, they can merge intellectual, spiritual and emotional concerns.

The artistic phenomenon created by him tends to reveal the omnipresent, albeit invisible, the essential yet overlooked, or the strong yet unnoticed. It unravels not only the immediate world but also one within us. He lets us transgress the boundaries between elements, as they seamlessly connect and then converge, as if questioning the submissiveness of our own consciousness to them and their foundation, in the process. For more than a decade, he has assiduously kept challenging our notions; also pushing our pre-set limits of understanding and perception of material as well as experience of space.

You may be prompted to know how interplay of light and shadow shapes our view of the world. The treatment of materials employed may vary in terms of form and content, shuffling between, silkscreen prints, plaster and paper relief. Ideas they look to project seem to reach out to us like sepulchral plaster bodies and arms frozen in walls. There are akin to big swipes being taken here. There are strong threads, which apparently hold these works together. Often evoking fragmented, disjointed body parts, ubiquitous objects, or unfamiliar organic forms, he challenges and explores the limits of perception.

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