To Name A Few
27 April – 22 June 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Preview: Friday, 26 April 7–9 pm
I am sitting here with this feeling, and it is a familiar feeling, and it is my heart.
I am needing to reassure myself that I am not writing this letter to you, that I am
just writing it, simply writing it, simply letting it wander out.
I feel sad. My heart, my chest, what fills my chest, something like the taste of
copper, like sucking on a penny, like licking a 9 volt battery and getting a little
shock. It’s here, a little shock.
It has never been so apparent, the workings of shame embedded in my being so
old and outside, yet all the same my own deep thing to tend to, untangle, air out
And I guess it’s true, now I am writing to you. I am writing to you from me and
also to myself.
But isn’t that a letter?
The linear scroll is scraping against the pavement.
In my delusions I am literally some kind of a hero and that is embarrassing.
What holds the reigns, I think of some force, nameless, shapeless within and
outside this bodily container. Sending signals into outer space and actually
I can tell you the joy of this spring day, the brightness of 4PM light, the spirits
that burst through at this time. It’s almost too much of a drunken feeling to
manage. It’s almost too much.
There is my heart again. You know, I haven’t been able to feel my heart in so
And now I pause, and just stare at my hands, still on the board.
And in this moment I decided this letter is no longer for you, because I know
that you don’t want it.
This letter is for my heart, and I can say anything to my heart.
Right now, I am saying to my heart, I am sorry. I am sorry that I wrapped you up in cotton batting and put you away all tampered down and quiet. I am sorry that I hid you from myself, that I turned away from you while we were sleeping, and on purpose, many times.
I am sorry that I turned away from you, my heart. My beautiful, my tender, my sensitive, my loving, my strong, strong heart. And I am so sorry that I put you to rest so often as to no longer feel anything between my ribs and the sky.
To Name a Few
Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Gallery Weekend 2019
26 April – 22 June 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 opens in Fall 2019
Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Milan
Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series
Text by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jeannine Tang, and Lanka Tattersall
...and other such stories
Chicago Architecture Biennial
Chicago Cultural Center
19 September 2019 – 5 January 2020
Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples
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: Jessica Aimufua
Registrar: Henry Babbage
Finance Manager: Stefan Schuster
Tanya Leighton GmbH
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm and by appointment
8 September – 25 November 2012, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
From the Inside Out:
Don't worry little man.
My lingua franca.
Here is a project: Put on your coat and come inside. Close the door.
The other one never waits.
I'll tell you:
Distracted as you were, attention deficit and all, you focused on the visible parts.
The notebook is filled with nonsense you doodled in front of the rotary phone, head tilted, eyes raised to the ceiling.
The Third Empty Desk.
It was something about not listening, I don't remember, I wasn't paying attention.
A very thin sculpture with a painted event on one side.
The ill fitting suit for burdensome social obligations.
The fish wrapped in last week’s news.
A Misplaced Name.
The door that opens inwards.
The Joke that's Hard to Understand.
The oratorio left to rest.
An Insider's Insider.
Don't interrupt my solitude but for heaven's sakes, please don't leave me lonely.
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present Dear Dilettante, the first European solo exhibition by Russian-born, Los Angeles-based artist, Sanya Kantarovsky.
Kantarovsky's work entails a binary investment. Firstly, in the near religious, painterly affect of representation painting - the gesture aimed at efficiently conveying a specific referent - boredom, loneliness, and other basic problems of the human condition. Then, in the dissolution and instability of said affect - here are images that slowly fall apart, giving way to the reality of material and the thin object unsuccessfully posing as a window, acutely aware of it's own limits and belatedness. Combining eclectic and often dissonant art historical tropes and motifs, Kantarovsky gentrifies disparate perspectives on creative production, refusing to privilege the programmatic over the spiritual and vice versa.
Echoing the ambivalence of the clichéd antihero dilettante, from Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov to Huysman's Des Esseintes, Kantarovsky's work ultimately points back to the anxiety at the site of it's own production - the studio, the desk, the stage. This exhibition is comprised of a modest constellation of paintings and sculptures assembled in the form of a fictive note to the figure of the Dilettante, pointing to the fear of anemia within making or the lack of expertise within looking. The pictoral spaces of the paintings involve an ongoing visual vocabulary comprised of both generic symbols that manage to retain an uncanny singularity: the blank page - an offer of potential or a testament of failure; animated hands and feet - discreet conduits for affect; lamps - tools aimed at illuminating a space of production that seem to emit little actual light; and the mask, serving as a tether to the performative, or an allegory for the painted façade that conceals a painting's original surface.
At times the paintings act as stand-ins for the exterior (representation?) or the interior (abstraction?). This dialectic opposition is echoed in the whimsy of the described subjects - suspended in indiscernible spaces between coming and going, opening and closing. The sculptures in the exhibition further this ambiguity: In A Situation, for instance, the initial view offers a lone, thin black line, reminiscent of the quiet secular poetry of Sandback's strings, yet upon closer inspection animates into the opposite of this take - a nearly grotesque leg and shoe - a portrait of a decision to opt out of using a door to make an exit.
Perhaps the most understated work in the show - Library Windows, is a continuation of the artist's ongoing interest in memory and archive. Adopted from the pseudo Constructivist motif of steel grates protecting the library windows across from Kantarovsky's childhood Moscow apartment, two new grates are installed on the windows in the interior of the upper gallery space. In effect the room comes to serve as a portrait of another building's facade via its overlooked pedestrian décor. Here the conflation of space continues, echoed by A Misplaced Name, in which a large umbrella hints at the presence of poor weather inside the gallery. Or perhaps inside the painting, the author, or the viewer.