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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