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Ariel Hassan


“...Straight away we have polar extremes, the close up and the long shot, combined as if one. The works look like a species of Abstract Expressionism at first glance, while closer inspection reveals a careful hand has been at work—another enriching opposition. The pictures effectively embody indications of chaotic creation and a controlling, dispassionate intelligence....“

(excerpt from Subjective Satellite by Ian North, 2006)

Works chronology  
Miscellaneous Electronic Fluids TBMKF Exhibition 2008 Exhibition2010 Miscellaneous aboutmadness aboutmadness making all things equal  
“The irremediable antagonism between desire and the excesses of permission seems to support those prophets like André Breton who, toward the end of his life, feared that by revealing and permitting all, we might end up depriving desire of its force.” J-C. Guillebaud

Freedom, liberty, equality, power, desire, authority, oppression and submission ground Hassan’s new GAG exhibition. OIKONOMIA, a series of 30 works - the impetus of which started as a response to Goya’s Caprichos is formed from the defacement of photographic documentation of extreme sexual practices, absorbed in an abstract fluid system of painting to reveal unexpected images. Monstrous formations emerge as a result, out of the integral accident and our thirst for exposure and consumption - relationship occurring between total abstraction and rationality.

Showing concurrently, REVERSAL OF CONTINGENCY INTO NECESSITY is a large scale projection, a landscape devoid of human presence, a space outside our jurisdiction. The image is split in two perspective sections that fly away from each other, the structure acts as a proposition of opposite, possibilities of the same event – nihilism and morality, contingency and necessity. Separating the two planes are individual capital letters that systematically appear; if put together they form a passage from the Adjustment of Controversies by Zhuangzi.
Capitulation of Discourse, 2014

The chaotic and dynamic systems in Ariel Hassan’s work do not conform to notions of abstraction in the traditional sense, instead they are reproductions of events that we don’t often see, extracting abstract models through processes of imitation akin to neoclassicism. Representing nothing but themselves they suggest that to represent means to value, consequently excluding the other. His works open doors towards the mathematically elegant foundation of all.

Organic Occurrences Forming Within The Grey Zones Of Pre-existing Regimes advances Hassan’s research in translating events within silent structures. Here a collection of aleatory images of fluid paint have been circumscribed within the proportions of a Fibonacci rectangle, and later dissected by it and by an arrangement of Lemoine’s geometric construction of the golden ratio. 

The geometric and organic sections come together to recompose the topology of an unknown territory, escaping definition; the sectioning affects the plasticity of the fixed image to form and deform further images within the complex maps and into our imagination. What we first see in these large photographs is only the surface of a much deeper ground, a virtual space where the point of view of the structure and that of the event, including the event of our viewing, converge. Thus the frame becomes a portal into the structure; into the environmental magic of the work, an access into a space of singularity far from discourse. 

These images behave as open components of an ever changing event. They are open to ‘being’, but nothing in particular, as they are proportioned within structures that can articulate and survive every answer. What we see therefore are not pictures of the artist’s imaginary, but contact images, irrational events captured within transitory moments represented in our time with a degree of fidelity. 

Included in this exhibition is Traces and Determinants, a three channel video installation running for 20 minutes. The work loops from light to dark, showing a swarm of lines that emerge and later dissolve; during their time they twist and connect, vibrating as a living organism that dances menacingly to the rhythm of techno sounds.


Images of Flow, Imants Tillers, 2011

Immersed in a process that is both conceptual and material, Ariel Hassan has at the core of his work a simple procedure – a small quantity of different coloured paints are poured and allowed to run together on small panes of glass. In a vivid demonstration of the beauty of fluid mechanics, the different colours remain intact to a certain degree, and swirl around each other creating unpredictable patterns on both the macroscopic and microscopic level. Hassan later scans selected areas of these abstract images and manipulates the colour and composition in a computer. A print is produced which he painstakingly copies onto a large canvas with paint and brush. This hand-made painting is a crucial stage since it not only results in unexpected details and divergences from the print but also adds a human texture and an aura of authenticity, even mystery.

These paintings of Hassan are compelling images of flow­, yet of a flow that did not literally take place on the surface of the canvas. Despite appearances, these works are representations of the images of flow. As well as their sheer beauty, it was this paradox that prompted me to write about them.

The suggestion that painting abstractions needs nothing more to say beyond the painting itself, not decided by title or explanation, is not a sentiment Hassan shares. Firstly he has titles; often obscure and elaborate. Moreover, his paintings are not content to rest on the wall; they can warp and twist into 3-dimensional space. In some instances, they literally sprout feet and step off the wall altogether to inhabit the viewer’s space ­– this is both macabre and humorous. They can morph into tessellated patterns on the floor that one walks on, or form wallpaper on some adjacent wall. The patterned floor can become a surface on which to place sculptures (modular, complex and intriguing in their own right); meteor-like objects can rain down from above in some installations and in others mirrored light boxes can appear on the walls. Thus, in Hassan’s exhibitions, the paintings themselves can become almost incidental to the total installation, yet painting itself remains at its core. I am reminded of the poet Novalis who once declared: “Every individual is the centre of a system of emanation

Critical theory, research, and reading are important to Hassan. In a recent discussion he mentioned the writings of Deleuze and Guattari’s celebrated book ‘A Thousand Plateaus’, which pursues the philosophy of difference; the ‘nomad line of thought’, the ‘anti-hierarchical’.  ‘A Thousand Plateaus’ was one of the foundation stones for the emergence of post-modernism. While no longer an ‘issue’ or a ‘hot topic’ in the visual arts, I believe that its influence was profound, was widely absorbed and internalised, such that it underpins much of contemporary art practice today. Brian Massumi, the translator of ‘A Thousand Plateaus’ writes in his introduction that Deleuze and Guattari were keen to contrast their “nomadic thought” to the representational thinking characteristic of western metaphysics since Plato, which they refer to in a derogatory tone as “state philosophy”. He writes: “Nomad thought does not immerse itself in the edifice of an ordered interiority: it moves freely in an element of exteriority. It does not repose on identity: it rides difference. It does not respect the artificial division between the three domains of representation: subject, concept and being; it replaces restrictive analogy with a conductivity that knows no bounds”.

Despite occasional intrusions of figuration, it nevertheless seems apt to characterize Hassan’s work as ‘abstract’. Thus he is perhaps part of that strand of contemporary painting which Tony Godfrey, the author of the 2009 publication ‘Painting Today’, calls ”ambiguous abstraction”. Interestingly, Godfrey points out that no other area in painting has developed such a complex and theoretical literature as abstraction. He points out that many looked to the writings of Deleuze and Guattari, “for whom the key metaphor was the rhizome, a plant that grows not from a seed but from elements of itself, constantly spreading across the ground and re-rooting themselves”. Furthermore, he explains that “in a world where the hierarchy descending from God has disappeared, such a network, with its almost infinite numbers of routes, is another way of explaining how the world and the human neural system works”.

When we talk about the ‘human neural system’ we are simultaneously talking about the structure, which produces consciousness. As Douglas Hofstadter asks in his book ‘I am a strange Loop’: “ can a self, a soul, a consciousness, an ‘I’ arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? If it can, then how can we understand this baffling emergence?”. These are still existential questions today, questions that I feel Hassan, on the evidence of his work, might also find compelling. Art can be a means of exploring self  and the mind. The making of art is an evolving process: I am ‘I’ who is becoming ‘I’ who is not I.            

Imants Tillers, August 2011

About the models, artist statement, 2012

There is an airborne plant, part of the South American native flora, that I always liked as a structure. Rootless, with hook-like arms that hold on to any surface it can grab, and usually living in symbiosis with another species, it is often found hanging from tree branches or electrical cables.

As a child I pictured these objects as transmitters of some sort, essential in a proto-culture long before humanity, as its fluid form reminded me of twisted and strange isolated neurons.

This new group of sculptures could also be representational models of information transmitters, perhaps synapses, or ways of reasoning or speculations of coherent argumentation. Portrayed as irregular junctions of arms they form precarious structures held together only by the intersection and tension of their parts – they operate in addition as spatial drawings.

I started working with these forms while making the first works in the ‘About Madness’ series; they became a sub-set within the topology of the work. The abstract and indeterminate fields in the paintings’ apparent captured moment within continuous transformations, provided visual elements that would relate to a neuronal system. I projected these three-dimensionally to describe logical connections, some sort of fragmentary models of behavioural stimulus, with twisted and almost out of balanced junctions that infer to how sometimes our logic is dangerously likely to collapse.

AH, March 2012

Absurdity and Ambiguity, Nicholas Croggon, 2011 (extract)

Ariel Hassan’s art is about ambiguity, and about the task of wresting meaning from its clutches.The most fundamental achievement of Hassan’s works is that they constantly achieve this aim with such elegance and grace, despite the seething complexities that lie just beneath their surface.The other key achievement of his work is to do so with a precise timeliness; an acute awareness of the historical period within which his works’ encounters with ambiguity take place. In considering Hassan’s work, ambiguity must therefore always be taken in its temporal sense, contingency.

Hassan is truly an artist of the 21st century. His biography is a picture of globalized nomadism. Growing up in Argentina, he subsequently moved to Spain, where he held his first exhibition in 2003, and then to Australia, where he now lives half the year, living the other half in Berlin, Germany. Hassan works across multiple media: although principally a painter, he produces sculptures, photographs and installations, as well as works that mix all of these. Most significantly, Hassan marks his timeliness by situating himself as an artist, and most particularly as a painter, at the end of a long century of art, and at the beginning of a new century full of possibility. It is importantly from this unstable yet promising point in time that Hassan presents his attempts at meaning. ...

(extract from book, About Madness, GAGProjects, 2011)

Nicholas Croggon, 2011

Today all your plans are going to be successful !, catalogue essay, Stephanie Lane, 2010

Ariel Hassan is an artist concerned with beauty. Ignoring current trends in post-minimalism, he creates works which reach out and communicate with the viewer. Anything but mute, they invite an exchange. Hassan’s work features scientific forms although it is not scientific in character. A key difference is that science pursues answers, whereas Hassan is interested in the unresolved tension of the unanswered question.
He embraces and celebrates the unknown.

Today all your plans are going to be successful! is a collection united less by technique or style than ideas and concepts. With these works, Hassan continues his exploration of aspects of personality, character and the inner and outer spaces. He strives to achieve a balance between form and composition where details are vital and chaos is enjoyed.
Hassan spent his childhood in the family’s toy store; he did not just play with the toys around him but enjoyed setting up displays and creating a staged environment. This sense of theatricality and playfulness continues in his work today.

Hassan did not attempt to sculpt the meteorites of Today all your plans are going to be successful! into preconceived shapes; instead he intuitively responded to the material. Perhaps these meteorites have travelled through space, maintaining their form through the earth’s atmosphere and we see them just before the moment of impact. Then, uncertainty, with the possibility of preservation of integrity or complete destruction, thus suggesting a new dawn after cataclysm.

Whilst his canvases are filled with colour and intricate forms, they also subtly, but no less forcefully, feature space. Hassan meticulously creates unstructured canvases, allowing the positives and negatives to engage in dialogue. From random origins, patterns develop which are utilised to create something original. His Ghost paintings feature footprints from the past that follow him during his life long journey. These large scale paintings rest upon limbs, standing comfortably and yet suggesting that if one does not choose to engage with them, they may well initiate the connection.

Waters are wiser than we reflects the artist’s commitment to self nourishment and development. Reminiscent of Islamic carpets, Mathématiques Modernes creates a universal harmony via pattern and information repetition. With Again and again and again, Hassan draws upon moments of transition and the fading of existing systems. This feeds the ‘hüzün’ in him. Orhan Pamuk in his 2005 novel Istanbul describes Hüzün as
a feeling of melancholy, angst and a deep spiritual loss but also a hopeful way of looking at life, a state of mind that is ultimately as life-affirming as it is negating.

Hassan’s work celebrates life in all its aspects. Uncommonly balanced, death and sadness are acknowledged as vital and welcomed as such. Playing with ideas of scale, magnifying the microscopic, highlighting darkness and organising randomness, Hassan has created a highly personal collection that challenges the viewer vigorously, intellectually and emotionally.

Stephanie Lane

Exhibition notes, Today all your plans are going to be successful !, Paul Greenaway OAM, 2010

Ariel Hassan is primarily a painter, but his practice extends to sculpture/installation and photography. The title of his latest exhibition Today all your plans are going to be successful! is patently ironic, as the viewer, who is invited to have a great day, will be confronted by demons; the ghosts generated from memory, anger, frustration, fears and phobias temper the greeting. This exhibition is triggered from a more personal perspective than some of the more analytical investigations in his previous shows.

This new exhibition has a degree of theatricality – a shower of meteors about to hit; paintings on hands and feet, prepare to give chase; a colourful and riotous, immersive upper level of the gallery (with a fragmented figure lying on its surface). All elements induce a smile, as everything is held in one suspended moment, like the pause button pressed on a recorder. Moments of transition between not only the obvious binaries of destruction and construction, beauty and decay, the real and the hallucinatory, but a weaving of complex secondary and tertiary issues associated with such polarities. One may smile at the surprise of it all, but the exhibition’s origins owe more to the theatre of the absurd than comedic traditions.

Objects falling from the skies or heavens conjured superstition for thousands of years, spoken of as ‘gifts from the gods’ or bad omens from angry spirits (misunderstanding about meteors lasted until the early nineteenth century). The title of the exhibition (a variation of a line from American poet John Giorno’s Just say no to family values) is also the title of the work Today all your plans are going to be successful! in which visitors are confronted with a shower of meteors as they enter the gallery. Arrested from their high-speed trajectory, a moment before impact, we can appreciate the pure beauty of these celestial objects. The poem deals with fear of the moral majority, the “fundamentalist viruses that threaten to destroy us,” says the poet; in Hassan’s work ‘fear’ is more akin to the thoughts and emotions experienced, not unlike the moment of realisation (too late) that you have dropped an egg. Before it hits the ground you may fear the consequences but simultaneously you can even love its fate. The meteorites may also be read as extensions of the black blobs found in Hassan’s earlier paintings.

From Homer’s Odyssey to contemporary cinema we have been told of ghosts, vapors and poltergeists. Hassan’s non-specific ghosts are his and ours; they are not the ghosts of popular culture, they need not be named; they can taunt, haunt and tease, or we can turn and confront them head on. Ghost 1, 2 & 3 represent the beginning of an anticipated series of seven paintings, each standing (on hands or feet) freely within a space. These large canvases, which are not as they may first appear, should not be dismissed as early forms of ‘abstraction’; fine handwork (through meticulous painting) undermines the initial impression of casual chance generated by random paint mixes. The very loose figurative elements in these paintings were found in the original incidental paintings, sometimes described by the artist as ‘provoked accidental paintings’. 1 This is not a question of the value of labour versus the value of concept, since for Hassan process is part of concept.

Waters are wiser than we is the title of a poem by contemporary Turkish author Fazil Hüsnü Daglarca, and the title of the five resin casts that indicate the consequence between force and inertia, as the vacuum that existed between these objects and their opposing counterparts dissipated. Reminiscent of organic growth or roots or branches, these low relief panels beg tacit questions about the notion of ‘putting down roots’ or ‘looking for your roots’. Linking diverse fields of knowledge in tandem with the artist’s personal aesthetic produces a critical way of thinking, with a by-product that comes close to ‘beauty’, interpreted here in the classical Greek sense. The Koine Greek word for beautiful was, ho¯raios, an adjective that derives from the word, ho¯ra, meaning “hour.” Beauty was thus associated with “being of one’s hour.” A ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas a person trying to appear more youthful would not be considered

Mathématiques modernes, which brings to mind 1960s concepts of mathematics or the 1970s French new wave band of the same name, exists here as a floor work that interferes with the dynamics of the space it occupies. Islamic design looked at achieving a universal harmony in the repetition of geometric patterns; Hassan interleaves this geometry with his own ‘fluid’ paintings in a surface that threatens to destabilise the ground the viewer stands on. Control and chaos are at play, resulting in simultaneous clarity and obfuscation. This cacophony of rich colours and shapes mellows en masse and provides a platform for Again and again and again, a nearly 300 piece segmented or fractionised reclining figure whose abstracted form is poised motionless and suspended, teetering on the edge of a sudden change, ready to animate or reconstruct itself at any moment, or conversely collapse and even die. This work, which relates formally to the artist’s earlier blood crystal installation Last love scene from a 2008 exhibition, extends however into a more complex system, more reminiscent of a Futurist sculpture than the pixilated computer imagery skillfully handled by Anthony Gormley. Hassan’s units are not stamped out mechanically; each wooden plate is sanded by hand and given several coats of paint individually. The title of the work therefore mocks the act of production.

Hassan is not comfortable with perfectly fitting analysis; titles of works don’t always have a direct relationship to the work itself. The seemingly high finish of the works can mask the rawness that triggered the work initially (all works have a high production value and a rigorous philosophical underpinning). He constantly questions the legitimacy of his expression and practice, concerned that his complex examination of various binaries may synthesise a whole and in turn represent only a reflection of a standardised reality, where Art becomes another aspect of life, as opposed to offering a critique.

Artists may embrace, resist or even try to influence the ever-changing reality; they find themselves in an exponentially growing network of socio-economic globalisation, of increasingly complex cultural exchanges and shifting values marked by the interconnectedness of all things. In this current body of work, rather than reflect, interpret or dissect the state of the world, Ariel Hassan endeavours to capture and highlight a split moment of time, thereby extending time and allowing the audience the space to ponder.

Hassan orchestrates his tableaux from a current concern with fears and phobias – part of the complex web of propositions hinted at by the author/artist.

Paul Greenaway OAM, 2010

1. Small mixtures of paint pigments and water allowed to run together on A4 sized sheets of glass.

A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people where silent, T. Morell, 2008

Ariel Hassan works with great care and precise control to make objects that explore uncontrolled chaos. His use of hard-edged geometry as well as fluid amorphousness (often combined in the same work) may seem contradictory, but in fact he offers an accurate representation of the nature of things.

Contained within the immense complexity of a living body, a society, a planet or a universe, are individually functioning but connected systems and processes that are themselves highly complex. Each is subject to precise laws and principles (laws of nature, laws of physics, council by-laws, rules of the game). With infinitely proliferating variables, each of them potentially able to affect the others, the scope for unpredictability is endless. Life as we know it is both strictly governed and essentially out of control.

This is the paradox that motivates Hassan’s work as an artist. Everyone has a personal response to the conundrum of infinity, and knows the queasy sensation of confronting the idea that space is infinitely expanding and there is no end to it all. Some cry, some laugh, most are silent. Many turn to religion. Hassan makes art.

He breaks things down to individual components, with the implicit understanding that they could be put back together again differently, recombined into an ever-expanding, evolving and mutating continuum. One link in the chain implies an infinite proliferation. It is beyond the physical resources of an artist to capture the full ramifications of endless expansion, so Hassan tends to go back the other way, exploring smaller and smaller divisions and subdivisions. In either direction, it’s an open-ended process.

His imagery and his approach to making art seem reminiscent of medical science. Crystalline structures and organic processes in nature can be clearly recognised among his points of reference. While there is a definite similarity between his studio methods and experimental studies in a laboratory, he expresses no particular interest in medical research. It is the underlying principle of ebb and flow that gives meaning to his work, not the specific scientific facts.

The HFV project looks and sounds as though it might be based on studies in pathology. In fact the term HVF (Hypothetical Future Value) comes from the vocabulary of financial investment and the stock market. In these works, recognisable portraits are overlaid with free-flowing swirls in a shared black and white tonal scale that allows coherent and incoherent form to blend ambiguously. This occurs more thoroughly in the loop projection of the portraits, when afterimages start to confuse the retina. The possibility of fixed identity is undermined, and certainty is replaced by the prospect of an infinite potential, on which a philosopher, like a share trader, might speculate.

Hassan doesn’t regard what he makes as self-contained objects and images. Instead he discusses them as captured phases of an ongoing progression. Many artists talk this way when describing the relationship between their individual works and the development of their oeuvre as a whole, but Hassan isn’t talking about the steps that comprise his own path. He observes the continuously changing and developing forces of nature and attempts to isolate individual moments for closer study. ‘I can’t make new paintings,’ he says, ‘ I can only find them within chaotic primal exercises and try to emulate them in different technical stages; I can’t formulate sculptures but only try to decipher the system involved and rearrange the pieces.’ He temporarily and artificially suspends perpetual motion and presents a fixed image of flux. All artists do that too, but Hassan is not so much concerned with the thing that’s constantly changing; instead he makes art about the process of change itself.

Two of the works in this exhibition, The Geometry Of Resistance and Last Love Scene, resemble frozen explosions. The structural basis of both of them is derived from blood crystallisation, so the gradual systematic structuring essential to life is presented in such a way that it could also be read as abrupt fragmentation. Hassan’s macrocosmic/microcosmic vision of the universe combines the big bang with the orgasm.     

The smallest component of the exhibition A void has been created, a void has to be closed is a fat worm. This automatically brings to mind the concept of worm holes, the shortest direct links within and between universes, travelling through space via time. This idea, so simple as an analogy, so difficult to grasp in reality, is invoked then left for the viewer to worry about. Hassan openly acknowledges the commonplace fact that the more we know, the more we realise we know very little.

His worm is curiously different from the other works. It is a distinct being rather than a configuration of parts, and in a perverse way it’s quite cute. It personifies the abstract process represented in Hassan’s work and gives it a face. Two in fact. Something unknowably and indefinably vast is brought down to a completely accessible level as a kind of logo. It stands for something much greater than itself. The two-faced, double-ended worm could be read as a symbol of endless circularity or a creature that could gobble itself into oblivion. Aside from what it might actually mean, this small sculpture reveals that within the disconcerting portentousness of Hassan’s work there is sometimes a playfully mischievous sense of humour.

Despair may be the most logical response to profound uncertainty, but it is absolutely not Hassan’s response. His anxious awareness of chaos accommodates the competing fragments of structural logic within it, and enthusiastically engages with them. Works of art are able to propose perfect, hypothetical resolutions of unresolved problems. Hassan labours long and hard to achieve this, with impeccable, crystalline models of random progression, and paint surfaces that are slowly and meticulously rendered like a painting-by-numbers version of an abstract expressionist canvas. His painstaking technique as an artist leaves no room for accidents, yet it is used for expressing a belief that the identity of everything depends on its potential not to go according to plan. 

 Timothy Morrell

Subjective Satellite by Ian North, 2006

Just what is it that makes Ariel Hassan's paintings so alive, so freshly compelling?

In them, to be certain, one can immediately see the familiar lineaments of the micro/macro cosmos pushed beyond cliche. Hassan's titles suggest imbrication with the up front and physical, with bodily events, perhaps, and their electrical correlations. Yet the artist also talks of aspiring to be a satellite. It is, apparently, no coincidence the pictures could pass, at a first glance, for NASA photographs of earth or Hubble details of gaseous fields, as well as chemical admixtures much closer to hand. Straight away we have polar extremes, the close up and the long shot, combined as if one. The works look like a species of Abstract Expressionism at first glance, while closer inspection reveals a careful hand has been at work--another enriching opposition. The pictures effectively embody indications of chaotic creation and a controlling, dispassionate intelligence.

The artist very consciously deploys this binary as a key part of his modus operandi. The resultant paintings manifest the proposition that the universe can be beautiful, even as they bear the marks of the artist's mediation of that beauty, his necessary participation in the processes concerned. Beauty, we might allow, is not the consequence of an aesthetician's recipe book, or purely an effect of culture, but the result of a particular dynamic between an individual and particular prompts 'out there'. The fullest experiences of beauty invoke precognitive and cognitive levels of understanding working across a register of the inchoately biological to the variously cultural--from the deep, even the dumb, to the 'cool'. All of this one might sense in looking at Hassan's work, adding to the satisfaction it offers.

The work, then, manifests and moves towards synthesising the two principal and opposing attitudes commonly held towards the production and experience of visual imagery. The first one might call the Reception Theory, which has it that beauty (or truth) is objectively exists, and we receive it if our antennae are sensitive enough. Much more fashionable in recent decades is what one might designate the Projection Theory, that the eye of the beholder projects what beauty it finds through the lens of cultural conditioning. The former animates traditional Aboriginal art, Australia's greatest art movement to date, so historical contingency alone might give pause to idly rejecting it - place, we should grant, is not necessarily irrelevant to art and culture (and we might note in passing that Hassan's work is nothing if it is not also a kind of mapping). Beauty theory within analytic philosophy gives contemporary logical support to such perspectives, just as Hassan's prints and sculptures, in focussing on the brain and skull, draw particular attention to the role of mind and body in the production and content of his work.

But back to my initial question. The viewer of Hassan's paintings becomes conscious of the artist watching himself as he scrupulously positions each mark. It is a little like viewing a Cezanne, though the result looks far more like late than early modernism, while invoking a range of contemporary artists, from Gerhard Richter to Glenn Brown, in its ultra-careful reworking of a familiar style. The work suggests what some would regard as an oxymoron, an intelligent abstract expressionism. Here lies much of the pleasure, surely: the joy of myriad forms including unexpected colour shifts and tonal leaps--sudden greens in predominantly pink paintings, for example, and richly dark vacancies in otherwise high key canvases--coupled with the reassurance of high intelligence.

Ian North, 2006

· Making All Things Equal, 2016
[essays should not be reproduced without permission from the authors]
1977 Born, Argentina ariel hassan
  Lives & works between Australia and Germany



Capitulation of Discourse, GAGPROJECTS/Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide

2013 Traces and Determinants, Aura Gallery, Beijing
2012 About Madness, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
2011 About Madness, Aura Gallery, Beijing, China
2011 Project space, Art Stage Singapore, Singapore.
2010 Today all your plans are going to be successful!, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia.
2008 A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia.
2006 Internal Relationships, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia.
2003 Shields, Convento de Santo Domingo de Teguise, Lanzarote, Spain.

Personal Structures: Crossing Borders [collaborative work with Felix Larreta], Palazzo Bembo, as part of the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Recent acquisitions, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
CACSA Contemporary 2015, Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, University of South Australia
Art Taipei, Taiwan [Aura Gallery]


Pencil/Line/Eraser, Carroll/Fletcher, London UK
Melbourne Art Fair (GAGPROJECTS)
Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE (GAGPROJECTS)


ex URBAN SCREENS Light box project, Frankston, Melbourne
Unsettled, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Dubai, Dubai (GAGPROJECTS)
India Art Fair, New Delhi, India (Greenaway Art Gallery)

2012-13 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India

Art Stage Singapore, Singapore (Greenaway Art Gallery)


SH Contemporary (Aura Gallery and Greenaway Art Gallery), Shanghai, China
Swordsman, Aura Gallery, Beijing, China

2010 The New New, CACSA, curated by Alan Cruikshank/Peter McKay, Adelaide, Australia
Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, [GAG], Australia
Australian Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo, China
2008 Primavera 08, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Redlands School, Sydney, Australia
Scope Basel Art Fair, Switzerland (Greenaway Art Gallery stand)
Uneasy, curated by Timothy Morrell, Samstag Museum, University of SA, Adelaide, Australia
2007 'Della Pittura Digitalis – Painting and the digital momentum', curated by Paco Barragan. Caprice Horn Gallery, Berlin, Germany.
Meet and Greet, Downtown Art Space, Adelaide
2006 Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

2014    Mani, Sajan, Kochi Biennale Foundation, DC Books, pp. 148 – 155, for Kochi Muziris Biennale 2012
2012    Special Correspondant, ‘Art shows develop global culture’ THE HINDU-India November 16, 2012
2012    Mani, Sajan, Deconstructing Abstraction-HFV-project, Malayalam Manorama,India,Nov 29th, 2012
2012    Galan, Fernado (editor), Work and Words-Ariel Hassan, Art es, issue 50 2012 pg 84-85
2012    Slade, Lisa, Critics Choice, Ariel Hassan, Australian Art Collector Issue 61,2012 pg 151
2012    Radok, Stephanie, 'A Little Madness To Be Free', The Adelaide Review, issue 386, April 2012, pg. 32-33, Adelaide,Australia
2012    O'Brian, David, 'About Madness', DB Magazine, ed #543, Adelaide, Australia.
2012    Morell, Timothy, 'What Now?', Australian Art Collector, No 59, pg. 102-103, NSW, Australia.
2011    Tillers, Imants, 'Images Of Flow', catalogue essay, GAG, Australia
2011    Wu, Yanan, 'Ariel Hassan About Madness', Hi Art magazine, issue 12, pp138-139, Beijing, China.
2011    Croggon, Nicholas, 'Absurdity and Ambiguity', Ariel Hassan | About Madness, book, published by GAGPROJECTS.
2011    Benschop, Juriaan, 'Azië aan zet', KUNSTBEELD magazine, N0 3 - 2011, pg. 54-57, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2011    Harms, Lisa, 'Ariel Hassan', Feltspace Gold: A survey of Emerging Contemporary Art in South Australia, pp56-59, FeltSpace, Adelaide.
2010    Sperou. Niki, 'Confluent Forms - Ariel Hassan: Recent Work', Artlink Magazine, Vol. 30, No 4, pg.40-43, Adelaide, Australia.
2010    Artist statement, 'The New New', CACSA Constemporary 2010, pg. 23, Adelaide, Australia.
2010    Greenaway OAM, Paul, 'Exhibition Notes, February 2010', catalogue essay, GAG, Australia.
2010    Lane, Stephanie, 'Today All your Plans Are Going To Be Successful!', catalogue essay, GAG, Australia.
2008    Mathews, Hanna,'Primavera 08 - Exhibition of Young Australian Artists', pg. 26-29, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.
2008    Dunt, Nerina, 'A Few People Laughed, A Few People Cried, Most People Where Silent', DB Magazine
2008    Morell, Timothy, 'Uneasy - Recent South Australian Art', pg. 34-35, Samstag Museum, Adelaide, Australia
2006    Walker, Wendy, 'Ariel Hassan: Internal Relationships', Contemporary Magazine, issue 84, pg. 71, London, UK.
2006    North, Ian, 'Subjective Satelite', catalogue essay, GAG, Australia
2003    Zaya, Antonio, 'Los Escudos De Las Sombras', exhibition essay, Spain.


Artbank, NSW, Australia,
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide,
French National Collection,
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra,
Shandong Provincial Government Collection, China,
Veoila Collection, Sydney