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Laura Hapka at Werkshack and Elaine Mauté at Manna 

When: Nov. 6, 6 p.m. 2019
Two artists showing nearby one another on 25th Street employ a transfer process. Laura Hapka’s Devaluation paintings at Werkshack combine acrylic paint and wax-based encaustic. After spreading the acrylic with trowels or palette knives into irregularly shaped rectangular fields, Hapka mounts them in pairs atop linen coated with translucent encaustic. The resulting diptychs of reds, blues and oranges reverse traditional figure-ground relationships, with the abstract ‘subjects’ in dialogue with each other, foregrounded, while atmospheric backgrounds recede behind, into indeterminate shallow depth. Elaine Mauté’s Serendipity paintings at Manna explore the ability of thinned water-based paint, when applied through silk or thin muslin, to create abstract images of fluidity and flux, with apparent bubbles formed by the air pockets between the paper surface and the intermediary membrane. Framed in clear plexiglas frames, the untitled works, primarily in blue tones, seem almost breathed into ethereal existence, evoking the eternal elemental dance of air and water.
— DeWitt Cheng


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