Kay Hassan was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1956. Though he is best known for his large scale ‘constructions’ made of torn, reconfigured, and pasted pieces of printed billboard posters, Hassan works in numerous media including painting, collage, installation, video, sculpture, and photography. Hassan's work is unified by a continuing interest in themes of migration, dispossession, trade, overproduction, waste, and urban life.
In an October 2000 feature in ArtThrob Hassan said, "Our lives have always been torn and put together and torn - people have always been pushed around. You see it in the streets, in the kids begging, those eyes, the way they look at you. Imagine being a parent, and having kids that have to be fed, but you have no money - so what do you do - you have to commit a crime. But I don't only reflect what is happening in South Africa, it's a reflection of what is happening in this world."
Kay Hassan has exhibited his work internationally in a career spanning over 30 years. Selected solo and group exhibitions include Daimler Contemporary, Haus Huth, Berlin, Germany, 2010; Nirox Foundation, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, 2010; 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009; Stenersenmuseet, Oslo, 2009; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2008; Urbanation, Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2008; Kay Hassan, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, 2003; Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden, 1998; and the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, 1995. In 2000, Kay Hassan was awarded the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Contemporary Art, and exhibited in the 2015 Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures, May 9 – November 22, 2015.
Kay Hassan’s first exhibition with the gallery was “Recent Photographs” in 2008. A solo exhibition titled “Everyday People” opened at the gallery in October 2014.