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Balan Nambiar is one of India's leading contemporary artists and also a research scholar on ritual art forms of the west coast of South India.

His sculptures are in mild steel, concrete, stone and stainless steel. Monumental sculptures are his hallmark. His enamel paintings are done with jewellery enamel colours, silver and gold on copper base.

He has received awards both for creative works and academic research.


  • 2015 Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram from the Government of Kerala for his creative works
  • 1983-85 Nehru Fellowship, Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund, New Delhi, for academic research
  • 1982-83 Senior Fellowship, Ministry of Human Resources, for academic research
  • 1981 National Award for sculpture, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, for his sculptures
  • 1980 State Award for sculpture, Karnataka Lalitha Kala Academy, Bangalore, for his sculptures


  • National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
  • National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore
  • Government Museum, Madras
  • Government Museum, Bangalore
  • Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
  • Museum of Sacred Art, Durbuy, Belgium
  • National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bombay
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art


  • 2018 Retrospective Exhibition at NGMA Bangalore of works done since 1957, curated by Sadanand Menon.
  • 2016 35th solo exhibition of 12 enamel paintings and stainless steel sculptures at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • 2012 solo exhibition of stainless steel sculptures and photographs on "The Mirror Idol" at ART HERITAGE, New Delhi
  • 1982 Venice Biennale, Italy
  • 1981 Indian Triennale, New Delhi
  • 1978 "Constructa-78", Hanover Industrial Fair, Germany
  • 1975 solo exhibition of Garden Sculptures - 24 sculptures made of steel between two and six m high, Bangalore
  • 1967 First solo exhibition of paintings at American Centre, Trivandrum

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