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ALWAR BALASUBRAMANIAM

Nothing From My Hands

January 25 – November 10, 2012

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Nothing From My Hands, 2011

Fiberglass and acrylic  144" x 480"


Alwar Balasubramaniam (aka Bala) continues his pursuit of bringing to form the formless and making us realize the potential of the hidden. Nothing From My Hands brings together two of Bala’s major conceptual pursuits. For over a decade the artist has been casting works using his own body and placing himself literally between the art and the viewer, negotiating the skin as an edge where one’s own individual physical self ends and everything else begins. Employing the cast from his hands, he materializes a form that exists only when the hands are clasped and ceases to exist when they are opened. However, by casting that space he has allowed us to view that which would not be visible directly. This casting method also enables the interior (between the hands) to become the exterior.

“Our respect for material reality is more than that for the non material and non visible, we think of nothing as negative. I am attempting here to show even nothing is something beautiful.”

-Alwar Balasubramaniam

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Knot, 2010 (detail)  Iron  28" x 142"

Alwar Balasubramaniam (Bala) was born in 1971 in Tirunelveli, India. He received a BFA from the Government College of Arts, Chennai, India, in 1995 after which he continued his studies in Edinburgh and Vienna. In 1998 he was artist in residence at The MacDowell Colony in NH after which he returned to Bangalore, where he lived and practiced till 2015. Subsequently, Bala returned to his native village near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu and embarked on creating his home and studio in the countryside, where he continues to live and work.

Bala’s works have been featured in exhibitions worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington; École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France; Essl Museum, Austria; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia, 1st Singapore Biennale; and 18th Sydney Biennale. In 2001 he was given the Joan Miro foundation award accompanied by a solo exhibition. Bala has been a guest lecturer at the Art Department of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and a featured speaker at TED.

Exhibition Views

Exhibition Views Thumbnails

Untitled, 2011

Fiberglass and acrylic

40" x 3/4" x 14"

Untitled, 2011-12

Sandstone

25 1/2" x 13" x 71"

Between here and there, 2010-2011

Iron

60" x 45" x 31"

Between here and there (detail)

Hold Nothing, 2012

Cast from the Artist's body

Fiberglass and acrylic

42" x 24" x 7"

Stone waves, 2010-2011

Fiberglass and sandstones

Dimensions varaible

Hold, 2011

Fiberglass and silicon

14 1/2" x 19 1/2" 9 1/4"

Nothing From My Hands, 2010-2011

Fiberglass and acrylic

480" x 13" x 144"

Nothing From My Hands, 2010-2011

Nothing From My Hands (detail)

Knots, 2011

Iron

153" x 24" x 36"

Knots (detail)

Endless line and expanded space, 2010-2011

Iron

53" x 44" x 36"

Wild one, 2011

Iron

14" x 10" x 10"

Shadow Lines, 2010

Enamel on mylar

18 3/4" x 21 1/4"

Shadow Lines (detail)

Dead-line, 2011

Iron and jute

48" x 19" x 105"

Dead-line (detail)

Shadow Lines, 2010

Enamel on mylar

23 1/4" x 18 1/4"

Open Secrets, 2010-2011

Aluminum

Dimensions Variable

Unfold, 2011

Fiberglass and acrylic

34" x 17" x 34"

Unfold, 2011

Unfold, 2012

Cast from the Artist's body

Fiberglass and acrylic

24" x 38" x 26"

Unfold, 2012

Embryo, 2011

Iron

67" x 67" x 67"

Knot, 2010

Iron

142" x 28" x 18 1/2"

Knot (detail)

Nothing From My Hands, 2011-12

Granite

67" x 54" x 64"

Nothing From My Hands (detail)

Untitled, 2011

Fiberglass and acrylic

40" x 3/4" x 14"

Untitled, 2011-12

Sandstone

25 1/2" x 13" x 71"

Between here and there, 2010-2011

Iron

60" x 45" x 31"

Between here and there (detail)

Hold Nothing, 2012

Cast from the Artist's body

Fiberglass and acrylic

42" x 24" x 7"

Stone waves, 2010-2011

Fiberglass and sandstones

Dimensions varaible

Hold, 2011

Fiberglass and silicon

14 1/2" x 19 1/2" 9 1/4"

Nothing From My Hands, 2010-2011

Fiberglass and acrylic

480" x 13" x 144"

Nothing From My Hands, 2010-2011

Nothing From My Hands (detail)

Knots, 2011

Iron

153" x 24" x 36"

Knots (detail)

Endless line and expanded space, 2010-2011

Iron

53" x 44" x 36"

Wild one, 2011

Iron

14" x 10" x 10"

Shadow Lines, 2010

Enamel on mylar

18 3/4" x 21 1/4"

Shadow Lines (detail)

Dead-line, 2011

Iron and jute

48" x 19" x 105"

Dead-line (detail)

Shadow Lines, 2010

Enamel on mylar

23 1/4" x 18 1/4"

Open Secrets, 2010-2011

Aluminum

Dimensions Variable

Unfold, 2011

Fiberglass and acrylic

34" x 17" x 34"

Unfold, 2011

Unfold, 2012

Cast from the Artist's body

Fiberglass and acrylic

24" x 38" x 26"

Unfold, 2012

Embryo, 2011

Iron

67" x 67" x 67"

Knot, 2010

Iron

142" x 28" x 18 1/2"

Knot (detail)

Nothing From My Hands, 2011-12

Granite

67" x 54" x 64"

Nothing From My Hands (detail)

Video