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
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.