7 September – 19 October 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Preview: 6 September, 7-9 pm
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present ‘Fabula Rasa’ — a group exhibition that investigates the literary form of the fable from six artistic positions. Recognising the blend of animate and inanimate objects that lays at the core of fables, ‘Fabula Rasa’ focuses on the potential of this interplay to critically reflect the human condition.
The exhibition title is a word play on the concept of the clean slate or ‘tabula rasa’. Life begins without knowledge and lived experience grows our understanding of the world. As much as fables relay shared memories and moral values, they also offer a way to recalibrate ourselves. The works in the exhibition propose perspectives from which to do so.
Sam Anderson’s interest in the dramaturgical narratives of everyday life often leads her to the recast characters that traditionally play set roles. In this case, the tragic-comic figure of the clown, a figure who both entertains and critiques society, is her subject. Both an outsider and an integral part of a community, the classic humorist tells fables of everyday life to question the ways we live together. This ‘clown’, however, is a fabulous and somewhat menacing caricature of itself — a replica dolphin scull, masked with a teardrop, a red nose, and a row of teeth so long it is hard to discern a smile or a grimace.
Antonio Ballester Moreno’s pictographic paintings are distillations of the fundamental ways in which humanity defines itself in relation to the larger world — knowledge, morality and the nature of being. Ballester Moreno’s geometric forms and palette of primary colours speak to an archaic image-memory, exploring what it actually means to be humane. Trees, mountains, moons and suns constitute a universal lexicon while echoing the building blocks of the ancient fable.
The hand-painted animation by Matt Copson introduces archetypal figures from European mythologies into a dystopian limbo. Here, a headless fox circles a maniacally self-obsessed woodpecker whose monologue details a compulsion to define the object of its love. As an allegory for the artist at work or sociopathic manoeuvring, Copson’s parable delivers an unsettling moral about how we relate to the world around us.
Notions of physical malady recur in the work of Jesse Darling. A winding crutch and a bent walking stick emerge like charmed snakes from an altar-like pedestal that floats above the ground. Part of Darling’s larger project, ‘The Ballad of Saint Jerome’, this sculpture retools the eponymous fable to examine the contemporary relationship between healer and healed.
Michael Dean’s sculptures begin in the realm of language – as a means of expressing love, anger, or grasping for understanding. In their translation from text to thing, Dean’s objects and icons become stand-ins for larger narratives. Considering what it means to create a physical extension of oneself, Dean’s concrete and rebar sculptures are human-scaled, bear traces of their making, and introduce new anthropomorphous characters into the exhibition space.
Staring into space through hollow eyes, the vacant, thinking and feeling figure by Austrian artist Heinz Frank is a residue of a body in distress. Part tree, part box, part mask and part spine, its anatomy consists of natural and artificial components that deconstruct the impressive mythical figure of the lion to an assemblage of objects — some quotidian, some bizarre.
17 – 20 October 2019
Preview: 16 October
'Christine Roland & Ruby Barber'
Hiroka Yamashita Kurfürstenstraße 156
Bauhaus: Utopia in Crisis, curated by Professor Daniel Sturgis
Camberwell Space, Camberwell College of Arts (forthcoming)
16 September – 9 November 2019
David Diao, 2018
Delmonico books — Prestel
With contributions from Philip Tinari, Michael Corris, Pi Li, Sarah K. Rich, Felicia Chen, Kerry Doran
Recipient of the 2019 Arnaldo Pomodoro Sculpture Prize
Solo exhibition at Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Milan
11 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series
Text by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jeannine Tang, and Lanka Tattersall
Beethoven – World.Citizen.Music Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
17 December 2019 – 26 April 2020
...and other such stories
Chicago Architecture Biennial
19 September 2019 – 5 January 2020
Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. Works from the VERBUND COLLECTION, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain
19 July – 1 December 2019
Maskulinitäten Bonner Kunstverein, Kölnischer Kunstverein und Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf
1 September – 24 November 2019
Tanya Leighton is delighted to announce that the Museum of Modern Art, New York has acquired Marianne Wex's Let's Take Back Our Space: 'Female' and 'Male' Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures, 1977
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.