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
Descendances du nu
18 June – 25 September 2016, Centre d'art contemporain, Delme, France
Jimmy Robert’s practice oscillates between various formats: photography, drawing, video, sculpture or performance, all fields he invests with his body and voice. But his work is also crossed by other bodies and voices, those of major 20th-century artists whose gestures, poses, manifestos or images he reproduces. For example, Figure de style (2008) reworks a famous performance by Japanese artist Yoko Ono (Cut Piece, 1965) in which Ono asked the public to cut off pieces of her clothing with scissors, gradually denuding her body. Jimmy Robert reuses the principle of the original performance, its potential erotic tension and its underlying violence, but in his case, visitors are invited to pull pieces of white masking tape off the artist’s black body. To gender power relations, Jimmy Robert adds an additional element of tension, that of the opposition between hegemonic and peripheral figures, in a play of unsatisfied desires and ambiguous gestures.
By deliberately placing himself in the wake of female artists (choreographer Yvonne Rainer, performer Carolee Schneemann, or Marguerite Duras, whose literary and cinematic writing inspired several of his works), Jimmy Robert constructs an artistic genealogy that is no longer written according to the patriarchal model.
At the Synagogue de Delme, Jimmy Robert offers a new visual and theatrical installation in which these questions of genealogy, citation and appropriation remain central.
The title of the exhibition Descendance du nu [Descendance of the Nude] is a direct reference to Duchamp’s famous 1912 painting: Nude Descending a Staircase. Though it caused a scandal in 1912, the painting nevertheless marked a major turning point in the history of art and made Marcel Duchamp into one of the fathers of modern and contemporary art.
To this father figure, Jimmy Robert links mothers, that is to say female artists who in their own way reproduced the motif of the nude descending a staircase: Elaine Sturtevant, Sherrie Levine and Louise Lawler, all three of whom were known for lending their credibility to copies and appropriation, dynamiting questions of authorship and originality, by transforming artistic practice into an infinite recirculation of images.
The installation that Jimmy Robert conceived for Delme is made up of several elements: a curtain falling from the first-floor balcony, printed with repeated patterns, literally pulverises Marcel Duchamp’s painting while turning the exhibition site into a theatre set, a space where images are activated, where one can perform the history of art, in order to bring out new base lines and show what was previously outside the frame.
Opposite this immense curtain, images placed on a staircase combine various references to, and appropriations of, the nude descending the staircase, as reinterpreted by several women artists in the 20th century. The text commissioned from theorist and art critic Elisabeth Lebovici, published by the art centre for the occasion, sheds its own fascinating light on Jimmy Robert’s work.
Furthermore, a sound piece conceived by sound artist Ain Bailey allows us to hear a succession of female voices. Although they emanate from the passageway upstairs (a space once reserved for women in the old synagogue), the voices escape this dedicated place in order to circulate through the whole building and occupy it fully.
On the evening of the opening, Jimmy Robert is giving a performance, presenting himself at floor-level. This crawling body, on the ground, vulnerable and having descended the staircase for good, provokes confused feelings; at any moment, laughter is liable to become the hidden side of desire.
— Marie Cozette