Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sculptural works by Alwar Balasubramaniam at Talwar Gallery

Talwar Gallery is currently hosting twin solos of sculptural works by Alwar Balasubramaniam in New York as well as New Delhi. The former marks almost a decade since his US debut solo at the venue.

Expanding on the dialogue created by his past works, his most recent series of works push the boundaries of his practice conceptually and materially. Imperceptible folds and lines between the artist’s closed hands are monumentalized in works carved from sandstone and granite, while in other works cast from the artist’s body, the exterior is all that remains: a folded layer existing only as skin, cast off like clothing is a poignant remnant embodying absence.

Another work, hovering in mid-air, entices the viewer to believe in the unseen. In an interplay of forms taken from the body, the works become increasingly abstract as they move from the outside to the spaces enclosed within—the familiar sources of their creation dissolving into unexpected and ethereal formations.

An accompanying note elaborates, :Seeing is not believing and believing is what is in the unseen. Bala works with the thresholds of the physical, the visible, the perceptible, allowing the viewer to transgress all boundaries. His works materialize the non-physical, show the invisible and permit the experience of the imperceptible.”

The solo at the gallery’s Delhi venue primarily comprises of sculptural installations in continuation of his pursuit to bring to form the formless, in the process, making the viewer realize the potential of the hidden. A conceptual premise forms the core of his new series, entitled ‘Nothing from My Hands’, proclaims, “Our respect for material reality is more than that for the non material and non visible, we think of nothing as negative. I’m attempting here to show even nothing is something beautiful.”

A bewildering body of metal sculptures is created with an intricate lattice construction of lines, flowing gracefully with no apparent endings or beginnings, where the form merges onto itself, where there is no clear demarcation between the inside and outside, the self and the other, where both exists together as one. For the metalworks in it, he has employed cycle spokes (they are flexible and can withstand tension). He also has made use of stone and metal in the works.

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