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
Geometry, Physics and the Science of Life
1 June – 6 August 2016, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton Gallery is pleased to announce 'Geometry, Physics and the Science of Life' – Czech-born artist Pavel Büchler's fourth exhibition at the gallery.
The idea of 'work' and its multifarious significance in relation to labour, art and productive thought has long been a subject of Büchler's. Work can be a bootstrapping capitalist ideal, or a vague reference to the sum of an artist's output; 'I love her work'. Büchler's own practice holds a mirror to the schizophrenic definition of the word, revealing its contradictions, ironies and subtleties. For his part, Büchler strikes a careful balance between over-working and not working at all, or rather turning idleness into artwork. Even when over-working, the product is often self-effacing, auto-destructive; 'All that hard work for nothing'.
It is hard not to refer to the artist's oft-quoted description of his practice as 'making nothing happen'.
'Nothing' in this case can be an idle object; popped footballs scavenged from playgrounds, tripods with no cameras attached to them, or outmoded slide projectors without images to project. Büchler's penchant for the left behind or obsolete often initiates his efforts in 'making nothing happen' – these are all objects that for whatever reason don't work anymore, but once did. Our understanding of their former lives is as important as our evaluation of their new ones. This psychology of seeing differently is directly alluded to in Observational Drawings (Yarbus Rorschach) in which Büchler has repurposed Russian psychologist Alfred Yarbus' exploration of vision as a product of prior conditioning, revealing that preconceptions colour our visual experience of all images.
'Nothing' can also be the accumulation of something. In the five monochrome paintings, the most recent works on view – Portrait in Profile, Sad Young Man, and the triptych Brides – the artist's work is abstracted to the point of illegibility. Each was previously a failed figurative painting, gifted from a friend who would otherwise have thrown them out. Büchler has scraped the paint from each canvas, ground it with a mortar and pestle, and painstakingly reapplied it as uniformly as possible, obfuscating both the original image and his own weeks of labor. Work is again rendered obscure in Blind Circles (Under Surveillance), the oldest work in the exhibition, completed nearly 40 years ago. A series of seven photographs ostensibly picture performances in which Büchler drew circles while blindfolded. Here the medium has again been disabused of its usual documentary function and coaxed into performing a different role. Rather than capturing one fraction of a second – a moment indicative of the whole repetitive performance – the camera's shutter was left open an entire hour, effectively erasing all but traces of the artist working and leaving only the imperfect results of his efforts.