Saturday, October 18, 2014

NEW YORK: Kay Hassan

Untitled paper construction by Kay Hassan. Image via
Everyday People
October 18 – November 15, 2014

513 West 20th Street
New York, NY


Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to present Everyday People, an exhibition of recent work by Kay Hassan. This is the artist’s second solo show with the gallery.

The focus of the exhibition will be a selection of new paper constructions that take the form of large-scale portraits created from scraps of discarded billboard posters.  The subjects are fictional characters inspired by the “everyday people” the artist encounters on the streets of Johannesburg where he lives and works. The torn posters are reconfigured and pasted together with a painterly precision and hints of an expressionist hand. Upon close examination, the Benday dots of large scale, mass-produced commercial printing come into focus, anchoring the works in their own materiality of the everyday.

Throughout his work, Kay Hassan has sourced from his immediate urban environment, taking discarded and second-hand items and repositioning them through figurative representation that highlights social, political, environmental and economic issues. Hassan mines contemporary subjects within South Africa to speak to the realities of global urbanization that move far beyond the local.

In a new installation, Passage of Time, Hassan has assembled a collection of vintage radios playing old-school classics like Billie Holiday and Count Basie.  Alongside the pile of radios is a grid of album covers.  A bittersweet and yearnful expression, this piece brings together the analog hardware and the music that has been discarded by today’s digital generation. Hassan empowers these abandoned objects and guides our memory toward past shared experiences without losing the direction of a changing time.

Kay Hassan has exhibited his work internationally, in both solo and group exhibitions, at venues including Daimler Contemporary, Haus Huth, Berlin (2010); the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); Stenersenmuseet, Oslo (2009); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Johannesburg Art Gallery (2008); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2003) Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden (1998); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (1997); and the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (1995). His first exhibition with the the Jack Shainman Gallery was Recent Photographs in 2008. In 2000, Kay Hassan was awarded the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Contemporary Art.

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