I Never Loved Your Mind
1 February – 7 March 2020, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present ‘I Never Loved Your Mind’, an exhibition by American artist Sam Anderson. This is Anderson’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Sam Anderson’s sculptures resemble prototypes, directly expressed and emptied of unnecessary detail that might over-define their meanings. The show’s title implies a potential, singular narrative, yet Anderson privileges a plurality in which no one protagonist drives the plot. Objects and ideas are collected and arranged in spite of their differences in materiality and characterisation.
Sculptures with titles such as ‘Imagination’ and ‘Opportunists’ illustrate these hard to depict concepts. They do not narrativise them, aiming rather to define them visually. The faceless figures strung together in ‘Opportunists’ move backward and forward, both entering and exiting an open door frame. Likewise, the features of the two sandwich-board men, who serve as the emblem for ‘Imagination’ are so rounded that it is easy to confuse which direction they face. A negotiation takes place between determinate and indeterminate elements. The implication of language paired with minimal gesture creates an evocative psychological space wherein the audience fills in the finer details.
The works include found objects alongside traditional sculptural materials like cast resin and clay. Much like their hand-sculpted counterparts, these found items are at once specific and open-ended. Anderson picks up and turns over colloquialisms and commonplaces complicating their underlying functions. She takes up, for example, the trope of the virtuoso—the archetype of technical mastery, egotism and strategic thinking. There is ‘Maestro’ with a weighty baton—awash with emotion—both tortured and ecstatic, vain and insecure. A critic in a theatre box appears without his usual partner (‘Affair’). ‘Husband’ plays the role of a sought-after prize, strutting to or from work with a briefcase tucked under his arm. Popeye the Sailor—the quintessential strongman—stands atop a curved escalator, shaky in his increasing age, his virile years long behind him. On the other hand, ‘Showgirl’—an assemblage of a silver cup, feathers, and a bullfrog skeleton—points to a disappearing profession that demands virtuosic forms of athleticism and emotional labour.
Traditionally, virtuosity honours specificity and Anderson’s multifaceted approach wilfully avoids definition. Foraging through iconography of the past and present, selecting and rigorously assembling, Anderson examines how perception influences desire and vice versa. ‘I Never Loved Your Mind’ reflects our deceptions and anxieties, our moments of opportunism, pursuits of and reactions to power, and the contours of our interiority. The psychological and interpersonal dramas alluded to in Anderson’s sculptures are universal—not her own, but everybody’s.
13 – 16 February 2020
A Lawnmower in the loft (a sculpture of the book)
14 March – 18 April 2020
Christine Roland and Kara Hamilton
At Kurfürstenstraße 156
1 – 3 May 2020
Hippo Campus, curated by Blair Todd
Newlyn Art Gallery & the Exchange, Penzance, Cornwall
14 February – 6 June 2020
Olomouc Triennale 2020: The Universal, curated by Gina Renotière
Bauhaus: Utopia in Crisis, curated by Professor Daniel Sturgis, Bauhaus University, Weimar
Opening January 2020
Art in the Age of Anxiety
Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
21 March – 21 June 2020
Diversity / United. Contemporary European Art. Moscow – Berlin – Paris
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
November 2020 – February 2021
Undo Things Done Exhibition Tour
Senedd, National Assembly for Wales
26 July – 9 September 2020
Beethoven – World.Citizen.Music Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
17 December 2019 – 26 April 2020
Art in the Age of Anxiety
Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
21 March – 21 June 2020
Masculinities: Liberation through Photography
Barbican Centre, London; Luma Foundation, Arles, and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin
Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, established in 2008, is dedicated to developing a cross-disciplinary, trans-generational gallery programme with off-site projects, in collaboration with artists, filmmakers, critics, art historians, and curators. Its international exhibition programme reflects a variety of opinions and practices as well as Leighton’s associations with American and British experimental cinema, artist’s film and video, performance, minimal and conceptual art.
Director: Simon Gowing
Director: Patrick Armstrong
Project Manager: Marie Egger
Gallery Manager: Melanie Isabel García
Registrar: Henry Babbage
Finance Manager: Stefan Schuster
Tanya Leighton GmbH
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm and by appointment
2 March – 12 April 2014, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by the celebrated British Pop artist Derek Boshier, his first in Berlin. Boshier, whose career spans over 50 years, has been lauded as one of the founding contributors of Pop. Featured in Ken Russell’s historic documentary ‘Pop Goes The Easel’ (1962) along with Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, and Peter Philips, Boshier's unique sensibility and rigorous mining of popular culture has contributed an immense amount to the movement of Pop Art – a movement which continues to aptly spotlight some of the more disconcerting aspects of contemporary culture.
Featuring a survey of works selected from throughout the artist’s career, Boshier’s exhibition revolves largely around two under-appreciated films from the early ’70s, ‘Link’ (1970) and ‘Reel’ (1973). Masterpieces of montage, both of these films exemplify Boshier’s interest in depicting and deriding popular culture. Originally addressed in his paintings and collages from the early ’60s, which became known as the first exemplars of British Pop Art, Boshier’s approach to advertising and popular culture melds with the conventions of film.
‘Link’ possesses a striking contemporaneity while managing to examine and toy with Modernist and Post-Modernist history. This fourteen-minute montage passes through myriad manifestations of the three primary forms – the square, triangle, and the circle – famously mused over by Vasily Kandinsky and his pedagogical cohorts at the Bauhaus. Drawing from a variety of sources, including everything from mosques, to the female anatomy, to comic books, Boshier’s primary forms are not sacred like Kandisnky’s, but libidinal, charged, and indicative of the visual clutter familiar to everyday living. Images appear and fade into one another according to a logic strictly governed by formal criteria, yet the piece is brimming with Pop narrative.
‘Reel’ pits the documentarian and the fictional against each other to tease out filmic convention and undermine viewers’ expectations. A pair of silver, platform heels is the thread that walks through a seemingly well-mannered romp through English culture. As the shoes find themselves in new locations, resting for a moment at the polo grounds, onward to commotion on the street, the viewer becomes aware of a biting critique of English colonialism, fetishism, and the social hierarchy that inspires it. Still images culled from advertising and other sources alternate with time-based footage, intertwining a witty humor with pointed cultural criticism.
In dialogue with the historical works being presented in the upper gallery, two of the artist’s latest films, ‘Best Foot Forward’ and ‘Did You See... That?’ are screening in the downstairs gallery space. Both works (2014) – debuting here – expand on the filmic techniques that Boshier has used since his early films – montage, still image, and varied means of appropriation. The two films are accompanied by a selection of artworks and ephemera dating from the late 1950s to today.
‘Link’, ‘Reel’, ‘Best Foot Forward’, and ‘Did You See That?’ all display a keen and nuanced sense of the cinematic as a space delineated by convention but open to experimentation, exploring and expanding the form’s possibilities. As such, they testify to the need to re-evaluate the pioneering British Pop artist’s practice, not just as a painter and draughtsman, but as filmmaker as well.
Alongside the films, at the gallery’s second location (Kurfürstenstraße 13/14), Boshier will show ‘Change’ (1973) a monumental series of collages that measures 34 meters in total. A winding embodiment of celluloid, ‘Change’ slows the experience of viewing a film from 24 frames per second to a pace dictated solely by the artwork’s viewer. Much like ‘Link’ and ‘Reel’, ‘Change’ employs an idiosyncratic logic that is part formal and part sociopolitical. Images gradually transform into others through a vaguely biological process of measured change. A subjective form of animation – the speed with which Boshier’s ideas and images morph is left to his audience. The immense installation was originally shown at the Whitechapel Gallery, London in 1973, and has not been publicly displayed since. ‘Change’ is shown alongside a stop motion film of the same name, also dating from 1973.
Derek Boshier (b. 1937, Portsmouth; based in LA) is a British painter, sculptor, photographer, printmaker, and filmmaker. Boshier graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 1962, where along with David Hockney, Allen Jones, and Peter Phillips, he was one of the students associated with Pop Art. In 1962, he appeared in Ken Russell’s ‘Pop Goes the Easel’ with Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, and Peter Phillips. Notable solo exhibitions include: Robert Fraser Gallery, London; Galerie Bichofsberger, Zurich; ‘Derek Boshier Documentation and Work’, which toured institutions in Great Britain in 1972; Hayward Gallery, London; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Marconi Gallery, Milan; Palace of Culture, Warsaw; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Lodz, Poland; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas; and most recently at the National Portrait Gallery, London in 2014. His work is held in notable collections worldwide, including The Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, Windsor Castle, England; The Tate Gallery of British Art, London; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; The Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas; Yale Centre of British Art, Connecticut; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Boshier is a visiting lecturer at UCLA School of Arts where he teaches drawing.