Siobhán Hapaska - a wolf, an olive tree and circumstances: Stockholm

12 May - 23 June 2016

Andréhn-Schiptjenko is proud to present Siobhán Hapaska’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. 


Hapaska has over the past two decades created original and formally complex work difficult to categorize. Moving effortlessly between abstraction and figuration the viewer is ultimately left with the space her sculptures and installations leave for the imagination, allowing for a more abstract reflection. Her practice has long been known and celebrated for its diverse vocabulary of organic and synthetic materials, its complex layering of narrative and its immaculately crafted, descriptive detail. In late 2014 she was awarded the prestigious New City Art Prize ”for her beautiful, unsettling and very individual work” for which the jury admired the coherence of her work over an extended period.


In the exhibition, a wolf, an olive tree and circumstances is a large-scale work where an uprooted olive tree is suspended, by means of military ratchet straps, to a complex structure made of fur covered aluminium tubing and forged scaffold fittings. A small motor creates movement and the work trembles in unsettling ways. The unspoken trauma of the uprooted tree and the seemingly logical structure of horizontal and vertical rods make the work oscillate between the animate and the inanimate to create a third, mutant, form, one that engages all senses and expands our notion of sculpture.


Without directly addressing political issues Hapaska’s work oftentimes references issues of territory and cultural identity, alienation and solitude, not without hopefulness and an element of humour. The olive tree, a recurrent element generally associated with peace and human resilience, has symbolic value for Islam, Christianity and Judaism alike. It is worth noting that Hapaska has a strong and personal investment in her materials and makes everything herself. In Olive she returns to the smooth fibreglass surface of her earlier work. Another piece, Four Angels, is made of selenite, concrete, aluminium, LED-lights and electrical wiring, bearing her signature hallmark of the seamless blend of organic with industrial, the spiritual with exact craftsmanship.


Hapaska (born 1963 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) lives and works in London. Recent projects include solo exhibitions at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2015) and Magasin III Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm (2013-2014) and group exhibitions at the Azerbaijan Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale; Abbot Hall Art Gallery, London; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (all 2015); Astralis at Espace Louis Vuitton, Paris (2014). In 1997 Hapaska participated in Documenta X and in 2001 she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale.

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