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Laura Hapka

Artist Statement

Is art the product of the actions required to make it or is it the actions themselves? Primary Process draws on artist Laura Hapka’s art-making process to comment on the relative values of method and meaning in a painter’s work. Using tone-on-tone primary colors—2 reds, 2 yellows, 2 blues—this show reprises the simplification Hapka has pursued recently in her work by simplifying the colors used. Stripping down her technique to its essentials, she paradoxically adds layers of meaning.

 

Primary colors are uncomplicated, honest and independent—the values that drew Hapka to her Process series. The paintings in this series are multifaceted, but minimal, seizing on the initial (ie. primary) phase of the artist’s process—hand making pure sheets of acrylic paint, which in her prior work she then manipulated and restructured. Arresting the process at this early stage, Hapka now reveals a beauty intrinsic to the materials used, a beauty that does not require manipulation. Her goal: to eliminate unnecessary noise and distraction while still creating an experience for the viewer. Limiting the chromatic range takes that simplicity one step further.

 

Even at her most minimal Hapka remains a playful artist. The titles for the paintings in the show refer to the time of their creation—the American political primaries of late 2019 and early 2020. Eschewing the minimalist naming conventions of minimalist art (while lightly mocking the typical viewer’s indifference to titles), Hapka again echoes the show’s larger notion that the primary stages of any endeavor determine its ultimate character.

 

Laura Hapka is a self-taught artist, with undergraduate degrees in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design and a Masters of Business Administration. She lives and works in Oakland, CA. Her work has evolved through experimentation, trial and error, and, correspondingly, the body of work in her Process series is not about individual paintings but about how she arrived at the body of work. She is driven to create work that is pure and aesthetically beautiful.

 

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Mustard & Charcoal

20 x 16 inches

Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

Two Blues
36 x 36 inches

Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

Two Reds
48 x 36 inches

Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

Hotcakes

Primary Process
Exhibition: January 9 to April 24, 2021

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Persian Hotcakes

framed to 18 x 22 inches

arylic on mat board

2020

Flaxen Hotcakes

framed to 18 x 22 inches

acrylic on mat board

2020

Pecan Hotcakes
framed to 18 x 22 inches
acrylic on mat board
2020

Diaton Hotcakes

framed to 18 x 22 inches
acrylic on mat board
2020

Byzantine Hotcakes

framed to 18 x 22 inches
acrylic on mat board
2020

Turkish Blue Hotcakes
framed to 18 x 22 inches
acrylic on mat board
2020

Click on images to enlarge.

Artist Statement

My new Hotcakes paintings are a means to create a complementary echelon in my newest body of work called, Process Series. My Process Series, is built on purifying my progression. It is not about a painting but about how I arrived at the body of work. The goal of the series is to strip down unnecessary noise, distraction, and still create an experience for the viewer. In this series, I isolate a technique used in all my previous artwork. This technique is the act of making pure sheets of hand-painted acrylic paint that I manipulate and restructure.
 
With Hotcakes, I isolated the acrylic sheets further; removing them from the substrate they were painted on. The name of each piece originated from a name of a color that roughly conveys the color of the two tones. The surname, Hotcakes, originated from the desire for comfort food during the social, economic and health crisis. It is also a quip on the phrase "selling like hotcakes," because they were created to be more accessible to art enthusiasts. The work is minimal and meant to capture and intrigue the viewer with color, texture and form.

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Blue Wave
36 x 48 inches

Acrylic and encaustic

on linen panel

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Red Tide
36 x 60 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

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Yellow
16 x 20 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

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Left
16 x 20 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

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Right
16 x 20 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

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Primary Report
144 x 60 inches

(6) hand-painted acrylic sheets applied directly to the wall w/(1) oil

and encaustic on linen panel

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Red Before Red
36 x 36 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

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Red States, Blue States, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

(9) 24 x 24 inch panel, grid presentation

Acrylic and encaustic on linen panels

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The Yellow Press

120 x 48 inches
Acrylic and encaustic

on linen panel

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10tone down 2.1
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Tone Down 3
24 x 24 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

Tone Down 2
24 x 24 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

Tone Down 4
24 x 24 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

Tone Down 1
24 x 24 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel

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Nostalgic Purple Void 
48 x 48 inches
Acrylic and encaustic
on linen panel