Andréhn-Schiptjenko announced the opening of Siobhán Hapaska exhibition
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Andréhn-Schiptjenko announced the opening of Siobhán Hapaska exhibition
Siobhán Hapaska, Candlewick, 2018. Acrylic, polymer, quadaxial glass matt, polyester resin, carbon powder, aluminium, wax, 274 x 105 x 105 cm. 107 7/8 x 41 3/8 x 41 3/8 in (Approx. diameter) © Alexandra de Cossette.

PARIS.- Andréhn-Schiptjenko announced the opening of Siobhán Hapaska’s solo-exhibition, taking place on Thursday 7 September between 6-9 PM.

Over more than three decades, Hapaska has created an original and complex body of work that is difficult to classify. Moving effortlessly between abstraction and figuration, the viewer is ultimately left with the space her sculptures and installations leave to the imagination, allowing for more abstract reflection. Her practice has long been known and celebrated for its varied vocabulary of organic and synthetic materials, complex layering of narratives and impeccable descriptive detail.

Without directly addressing political issues, Hapaska's works often refer to questions of territory and cultural identity, alienation and loneliness, often with a touch of humor and hope, but never with cynicism. Her works are all charged with history and sometimes contradictory meanings.

The main work in the exhibition, Snake and Apple, is the largest of a family of six sculptures sharing a variant of the same title - a reference to one of the most rustic origin stories of the human race, namely the fall from primordial grace and expulsion from paradise - the original sin for which mankind was banished from the Garden of Eden.

Over the years, Hapaska has produced informal groups of formally affiliated sculptures, but it is here that she has come closest to a series.

What these sculptures have in common is the motif of one or more spheres clamped in fiberglass, brilliantly lacquered in one of the colors associated with apples - most often red - and held in a vice-like grip by a self-supporting frame of interlocking aluminum beams, covered in artificial snakeskin. The construction of this frame can vary in complexity, the largest being the most complex of all.

The exhibition also presents three wall works where Hapaska has used transparent acrylic sheeting – normally used in the building industry for lightweight glazing – and filled them with what appears to be dust, in fact material from here studio, powdered white marble, carbonized oak and fluorescent powder pigment. Thus, these materials of nature and art turn what could have been a window into a compact and impenetrable composition as they mix as sedimentary layers, similar to rock and soils settled over millenia.

The recurring preoccupations of Hapaska's heteroclite art are the tension between movement and stasis, the question of origins and roots, the profusion of materialities and the promise of enlightenment - even if the latter may prove deceptive. All these elements are present in the works of the Snake and Apple series. It's worth noting that Hapaska invests herself heavily in her materials, producing everything herself.

Siobhán Hapaska (b. 1963, Belfast, Northern Ireland) lives and works in London and Rotterdam. She will have a solo show at the Douglas Hyde Gallery later this year, accompanied by a monograph. Recent projects include a solo show at the Kunst Museum, St. Gallen, Switzerland and a permanent installation at Château Lacoste, France, as well as solo exhibitions at John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, UK (2019), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2015) and Magasin III Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm (2013-2014).

In 1997, Hapaska took part in Documenta X and represented Ireland at the 49th Venice Biennale.

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