impulses, restraints, tones: New Compositions by Hannah Quinlivan

JanKossen Contemporary is pleased to present impulses, restraints, tones an exhibition by Australian contemporary artist, Hannah Quinlivan. impulses, restraints, tones is the artist’s first exhibition in New York and will be on view from March 1 – April 20, 2018 with an opening reception on March 1 from 6-8pm.


Hannah Quinlivan. Holdfast, 2017. Steel and PVC, 185 x 75 x8 inches.

Best known for her work within the movement of experimental drawing, Quinlivan expands upon the medium to create drawings that employ wire, steel, salt, yarn, shadow, and LED light, constantly evolving and dissecting the elements of a drawing to investigate the confines of the line itself. Twisted wire structures are the basis for her shadow drawings, which Quinlivan later develops further into sculptures; 2D drawings turn into 3D drawings, that are then turned back into 2D drawings. With a deep commitment to the exploration of and innate response to her materials, Quinlivan composes lyrical artworks that stitch together a response to the passing of time. Each element of the work is endlessly translated into an infinite looping web; traveling through our consciousness and drawing attention to the subjectivity of the phenomena of recollection and forgetting.

Hannah Quinlivan. Swallowed by the Sky, 2017. Acrylic and Indian ink on linen, 83 x 73 inches.

impulses, restraints, tones exhibits brand new “Spatial Drawings,” as well as two delicate, yet powerful, site-specific and interactive installations that respond to the gallery space and flux of bodies within it. The well-known “Spatial Drawings” walk the line between sculptural weaving and graphic mark making and explores concepts of temporal reality and memory. Quinlivan’s “Spatial Drawings” performance develops from wire armatures suspended from the ceiling. The shadows of these wire armatures are the basis for Quinlivan’s live and in-person crystalline salt drawings that will be developed over the course of three weeks during exhibition. This work, shown for the first time in New York City, forms part of a series of site-specific ephemeral drawings Quinlivan has been making in Cambridge, Berlin, Hong Kong, Australia, and Colorado from since 2016.

Hannah Quinlivan. It Started with A Spark, 2017. LED light and anodised aluminium, 35 x 46 x 7 inches.

Curator Marguerite Brown, explains “Linear threads and their manipulation have for millennia been symbolically connected to notions of time. The Moirai of ancient Greek mythology, also known at the Fates, were three goddesses who through the act of spinning thread with distaff and spindle, controlled the life of every person from birth to death, when their thread was abruptly cut. Similar female deities exist in Roman, Norse and Slavic mythologies, where thread is consistently wielded as a manifestation of destiny. As such, a simple strand and the way it is stretched, allotted and truncated, became an ancient way of comprehending the movement of a human life through time.”
Hannah Quinlivan, named by BMA Magazine as one of the Six Canberra Artists to watch in 2018, was a finalist for the 2014 Alice Prize and has received such prestigious accolades as the Canberra Critic Circle Award, Shire of East Pilbara Residency Award, Cox Prize, Don Moffat & Cecilia Ng award, People’s Choice Award, Megalo Print Studio and Gallery Residency Award, and the Jan Brown Drawing Prize. She has exhibited major presentations at Canberra Museum and Art Gallery, Canberra; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Colorado State University, Fort Collins; Cambridge University, London, Pembroke College, Cambridge; Deakin University, Melbourne; The Hong Kong Harbourfront, Hong Kong; and Kuala Lumpur Biennale, National Art Gallery of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. She is in such prestigious public collections as National Gallery of Australia, Gregory Allicar Museum, The Australian High Commission (Singapore), Philip Cox Collection, Deakin University, The Australian National University, KPMG Art Collection, Gaw Capital collection, Colorado State University, Megalo Print Studio + Gallery, Shire of East Pilbara, Ormond College Collection. She was recently selected by the curators of Urban Art Projects to create a major public art commission where her work will be featured on the glazed screen of every platform of the Canberra Light Rail network.