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Unveiling Abstractions at Hypha Studios is a group exhibition curated by Melissa Vipritskaya Topal and Zoe Goetzmann. As the title suggests, the exhibition follows the narrative of representing abstraction through different mediums of art, showcasing the artwork of 17 female artists who are at the forefront of the London art scene. Vibrant and engaging, the exhibition provides a clear sense of the artists’ creative processes and the innovative curation champions a fresh, individualistic take on abstract impressionist.

From left to right: Florence Sweeney, Synapses and Emily Mary Barnett's textile works (installation images courtesy of Hypha)

Topal invited Goetzmann to be co-curator last year, launching an open call in 2023 and reached out to Hypha Studios to provide them with a space for this exhibition. “Hypha is a charity organization that helps a lot of artists to showcase their work for free," she explains of the venue choice. Topal herself is a London-based abstract artist: her art explores the complexities of the world by combining nature with urban landscapes and mechanical tools to reflect the chaos of big cities. Her own works employ a variety of contemporary materials and media, including acrylics, ink, heavy body, high-flow acrylic paint, markers, spray paint, and other acrylic mediums. Goetzmann is a London-based arts writer, freelance journalist, and podcaster as well as founder of The Artist Workspace (AWS) Gallery, an initiative that showcases fine and digital arts led by women. Explaining the ethos of the exhibition, Goetzmann says, “The most important part was to select the artists and their work. The exhibition is based on materiality, because we love abstract art. Even though they are all female artists, for us it was firstly about the work, followed by the techniques, the details, and the process.” Topal adds, “It was also selecting different materials. This exhibition covers a lot of different media - sculpture, painting, installation, digital installation, and textiles.”

Nina Gonzalez-Park, taki/tako (2023)

What makes the exhibition rousing is the passion the curators had while selecting the artists. Topal explains: “Majorly, we wanted to see the beautiful dialogue between the artists that use different media, varying colour palettes, and how they use that media to express themselves. While selecting the work that we really love, not only depending on the story but also the visuals. Coincidentally all works happened to be created by female artists.” The curators also selected artists keeping cross-cultural background in mind to represent a diverse understanding and representation of abstract art.

From left to right: Melissa Vipritskaya Topal, Imaginary Bird, Annie Trevorah, Predator 2. Installation images courtesy of Hypha.

The exhibition space is dominated by pink and green pieces in the form of artworks, sculptures, and installations, except for a few monochromatic sculptures that added an earthy element to the exhibit. “Pink is a very feminine colour but it also showcases an array of different themes. The same colour has been used very differently by the artists,” says Goetzmann.

Anna Kolosova, Healing Heart (2023)

Exhibited artist Anna Kolosova talks about the journey of her artistic process and sheds light on her artwork titled Healing Heart (2023). The nucleus of Kolosova’s work lies in the themes of heartbreak and healing. “I have gone through a lot of emotional stuff for the past few years and have tried to depict that in this artwork." she explains. "Most of my work, especially this one, has a lot of dark elements which represent patterns of turmoil of life. When I started working, initially it seemed kind of gloomy. I added a bit of glitter and suddenly the glitter tried to alchemize itself, transforming itself into a beautiful element.” As noted by guests, the artwork encapsulates the East London artistic zeitgeist - flashy colours and prominent graffiti. Kolosova mentions that she does not plan anything beforehand, and believes in things “happening on their own.” It is also a synesthetic piece, as Kolosova emphasises her love for electronic music and its influence on this artwork. It indeed is one of the most abstract works in the exhibition, combining life experiences with geographical locations.

The perspective that these female artists bring to their work is refreshingly individualistic. Drawing inspiration from a variety of mediums, including traditional, contemporary, digital, and scientific influences, the pieces are a testament to the enduring relevance of the works of Abstract Expressionist women like Lynda Benglis and Jay DeFeno, who used their art to reflect on the past and envision a brighter future that is reflective of their current experiences. From the use of color and form to their exploration of new materials and techniques, Unveiling Abstractions successfully takes non-object imagery as their subject matter as they examine society’s collective subconscious.

Unveiling Abstractions runs from 23rd February – 30th March 2024 Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm at Hypha Studios. 


Avantika Pathania is a writer based in London with an interest in fashion, and modern and contemporary art. 


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