Beyond the Wall


April 1-May 5
Art Talk: Tuesday, May 2  | 10 am
Reception: Friday, May 5 | 5:30-7:30 pm
The Annex at the Bush Barn Art Center | 600 Mission St. SE Salem

Avantika Bawa has created a large-scale installation for the Annex at the Bush Barn Art Center in Salem. Beyond the Wall uses the interior architecture of the Annex to generate a continuous gesture that sweeps across the gallery while simultaneously embracing and taking over the space. This gesture includes an unwieldy, yet grounded band of yellow that echoes the terrain surrounding the gallery. Sparking off of this form are bursts of vertical and diagonal graphite lines. With their contrasting widths and directions, the lines evoke a conflict that is visually resolved through their placement on the yellow.

Avantika Bawa is an artist, curator and educator based in Portland, Oregon, and also spends time in her hometown of New Delhi, India. Bawa has an MFA in Painting from the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in the same from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India.

She has participated in the Skowhegan, MacDowell Colony, Kochi Biennial Foundation and Djerassi residencies among others. Noteworthy solo exhibits include shows at Schneider Museum, Suyama Space, The Columbus Museum, Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Nature Morte, Gallery Maskara, White Box, Disjecta, and most recently Los Angeles Valley College. In April 2004 Avantika was part of a team that launched Drain – Journal for Contemporary Art and Culture. In 2014 Avantika was appointed to the board of the Oregon Arts Commission. She is currently Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Vancouver, Washington.

A reception for this exhibition will take place on Friday, May 5 from 5:30-7:30 pm. The exhibition and the reception are both free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10 am-5 pm, and Saturday-Sunday from Noon-5 pm.

Artist Statement

“My practice emphasizes the intersections where drawing and sculpture, stasis and motion, and the functional and non-functional intermingle. Geographic and architectural differences in landscape strongly inform my work. I explore the diversity of topographies, the presence or absence of color in local environments, and the range of visual and tactile qualities of locally sourced and fabricated materials.

Bearing in mind a location’s prior use, I create wall drawings and/or paintings, and repurpose and rearrange functional objects to create temporary installations on-site. My approach is influenced by Minimalism and its emphasis on reductive form, modularity, and experimentation with scale. I gather and compose industrial products like brick, plywood, and concrete, simulating common gestures, such as sitting, leaning, pulling, and stacking. These installations invite the viewer to experience the crossroads between the utilitarian, historical, and aesthetic qualities of each space.

In addition to site-based works, I have a sustained drawing practice. Often these are preliminary studies, or a response to my installations, while the majority are stand-alone pieces. These drawings are deliberative yet whimsical, as I work with the pure physicality of line, shape, and color.”

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