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
26 November 2015 – 27 February 2016, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton is pleased to announce Endless Love, the first solo exhibition at the gallery by American artist Sam Anderson.
Anderson’s multidisciplinary practice focuses on the peripheral, the bit-part actors of life that arrive to bring about plot development and then slink off to the fringe. These figures are studied and organized, but never defined by Anderson, who asks her viewers to regard their personalities as carefully as they would themselves. Arranged into grid-like patterns that call to mind urban planning, public smoking areas, playgrounds, and other spaces that have been imagined and built for human interaction, Anderson’s sculptures are subject to the impulse of an architect they have never met.
Though the filmic is an underlying theme in much of Anderson’s sculptural work, the artist has not, until now, exhibited her videos in three years. Endless Love includes a looping excerpt of a new video of the same title, which follows the artist’s mother to New Zealand, where she was filming a horror movie, and West Virginia, where she had a log cabin built on land inherited from her mother and father. These scenes of ostensible documentary are interrupted by clips from a 1979 Western that Anderson’s mother starred in, as well as stock footage. Throughout the video, Anderson’s mother reads a monologue of musings compiled by the artist, which include conversations with taxi drivers, as well as fragments from the play A Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill – chosen almost at random as an example of 20th century writing that confuses familiar emotional colloquialisms with deep meaning. Our over-exposure to canned language, like the dialogue taken from O’Neill’s play, colours the way we are able to synthesize and vocalize emotion, making it increasingly easy to act out pat, scripted replies in moments of pain or existential suffering.
The artist’s mother also appears in the form of a clay sculpture holding a gong, modelled after a portrait drawn when she was in her early thirties. She is joined by taxis, tractors, and the ancillary actors who contextualize her: a farmer, an actress, a musician, a pregnant kiwi bird, a taxi driver, and a stalker.
Much of Endless Love seems to question the idea of objects holding transcendent power. Swept up bits of broken glass, orange peels, paper, and wood lie in the center of roughly cut pieces of sheepskin and leather. They could be unwrapped gifts still sitting in their wrapping or opened greeting cards with a dirty dollar bill inside. Presents as emblems of love or emotionality come under scrutiny - Anderson interrupts the video Endless Love with a short clip made by her partner, who gave it to her as a gift in 2013. Her own gift is also on view: a pair of moulded in-ear monitors, fit specifically to her partner’s ear canals, which are printed with nubile bathing beauties. They play their own insular soundtrack.
Anderson’s interests and themes are as far reaching as they are intimate. Her artworks engage through their familiarity, but reveal far more when they ask us to think how they came to be familiar. Where narratives break and slip, there is space for self questioning, reformatting viewpoints of desire, role-playing, and examination of the material world both man-made and organic. Anderson’s work cultivates a cinematic positioning of the mind that switches in and out of multiple genres of comprehension.