Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art

Avantika Bawa

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art
Region: Portland, OR
MacDowell fellowships: Winter 2013

Avantika Bawa is an artist based in Portland, OR, and New Delhi, India. Bawa has an M.F.A. in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.F.A. in the same from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India.

She has participated in the Skowhegan, MacDowell, U Cross, Kochi Biennial Foundation, and Djerassi residencies. Noteworthy solo exhibits include shows at The Portland Art Museum, OR; Schneider Museum, Ashland, OR; Suyama Space, Seattle, WA; Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA; and the Saltworks Gallery and the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta, GA; Nature Morte and Gallery Maskara in India; and Disjecta, Portland, OR. She is the recipient of several awards, notably the Oregon Arts Commission Joan Shipley Award, the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts 2018 Golden Spot Residency Award and, most recently, the Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts presented by the Ford Family Foundation.

In April 2004 she was part of a team that launched Drain - Journal for Contemporary Art and Culture. www.drainmag.com. 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, WA.

Bawa’s practice emphasizes the intersections where drawing and sculpture, stasis and motion, and the functional and non-functional intermingle. Geographic, architectural, and cultural differences in landscape strongly inform this work. Bearing in mind a location’s prior use, she creates wall drawings and/or paintings to create temporary installations on-site. Her approach is influenced by Minimalism and its emphasis on reductive form, modularity, and experimentation with scale.

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



Avantika Bawa worked in the Heinz studio.

The icehouse, built of fieldstone in 1914–1915, was a practical part of Mrs. MacDowell’s plan for a self-sufficient farm. Winter ice cut from a nearby pond was stored here for summer use on the property. Idle since 1940, it was a handsome but outdated farm building. In 1995, Mrs. Drue Heinz, a vice chairman of…

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