Talwar Gallery is delighted to present a solo exhibition of sculptural works by Alwar Balasubramaniam. Expanding on the dialogue created by his past works, Bala’s new 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. 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.
Throughout his career, Bala has engaged with those forces we normally think of as peripheral – light, shadow, gravity – forces that nevertheless give form to our experience. Foregrounding the perceptual in his work, which often surprises or confounds, Bala playfully challenges viewers to question and ultimately expand the limits of their perception. Always more than meets the eye, each of his pieces is, as he says, “the trace of a thought,” evidence of the indelible marriage between form and idea. Bala’s work gives new weight to the tangible – weight at once symbolic, spiritual, and distinctly human. Alwar Balasubramaniam was born in 1971 in Tamil Nadu, India. His works have been featured in international exhibitions and institutions 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; Essl Museum, Austria; École des Beaux Arts, Paris, France; 1st Singapore Biennale; and 18th Sydney Biennale. Bala has been a guest lecturer at the Art Department of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and a featured speaker at TED.