Double Twist ©1994

About Newcity Art

Newcity Art is a Web site dedicated to news, reviews and features about Chicago’s visual art world. We start with the core coverage found each week in Newcity magazine, where we’ve been covering art for more than 22 years, and extend it with your input on this site.

Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago
Dec 15, 2008

Donna Hapac/Gosia Koscielak Gallery

Sculpture, Wicker Park/Bucktown Add comments


Donna Hapac belongs to a group of daring sculptors who choose to reinvent what counts as material for fine art. Artists like Eva Hesse, Petah Coyne and Dan Flavin each respectively brought non-traditional mediums of latex, hair and florescent tubing into the fine art vocabulary. Now, with the work of Hapac, we have the appropriation of the acrylic nail as fine art medium.

Hapac’s show at the Koscielak Gallery is a sampling of the “nail” works along with a handful of her bent reed constructs as well. In these two sets of structures, form is dictated by their medium. The candy-colored “Helix” is comprised of linked acrylic nails arranged in a vertical spiral that unfurls as it curves upward. The pieces that use the unadulterated nail form, sans color, are among her most convincing work. It’s amazing how the unenhanced acrylic nail lends a slick, translucent and ghost-like feel to her “Creature” series. When combined, the nail’s white scoop shapes together with the ragged, unkempt frizz of the string’s raw edges lend her creature works organic credibility. The viewer can almost feel these creatures gently swaying back and forth in the undulations of an underwater current.

Ultimately, what does Hapac’s use of acrylic nails as a medium amount to? Any social commentary inherent in this specifically cultural object is transformed into a formal delight, giving new life to the artificial. (MK Meador)

Through December 30. 2008 at Gosia Koscielak Gallery, 1646 N. Bosworth.

CLICK  to read original review…