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 November – 13 December 2014, LAXART, Los Angeles
Sanya Kantarovsky’s installation at LA><ART combines montage and painting marking the artist’s first work in animation. 'Happy Soul' overlays film animation upon a figurative painting hung in the righthand quadrant of the projection frame. The geometry of the film registers at the edges of the stretcher in a playful manner that pits the illusion of two images interacting against formal interventions – a cartoonish hand brushes against the seams of the white canvas and creatures fly in and out of the painting changing hues sporadically.
The painting depicts an isolated male nude gazing back at the viewer, blankly, covering his sex. The plane of the picture begins to signal a tangible, physical space as the montage shifts shape and transforms again. In the artist’s telling, the painting surrounded by cinema creates a theatrical environment for the static figure as the animations swirl around him; in one instance a spotlight falls directly on the painted figure literally signaling his entrance upon the stage. These interplays between the painterly depiction of the body and that body set in motion, as well as the somatic presence of the viewer, trace a correlation between an intimate, private space, and a public, theatrical one.
The animation itself incorporates an alphabetic repertoire of motifs – images adopted from previous paintings and drawings feel both generic and rehearsed – butterflies flutter, lighting roves the horizon, blank pieces of paper stir in space, watches tick, hands gesture, smoke bellows. These unresolved illusions set up expectations for a narrative that never comes into being. Rather, each element creates a mood driven by visual textures and thus joins the artist’s painting practice as a system of self-reflexive motifs, visual puns and allegories. One such example is the animated revolution of the painting upon an axis that momentarily reveals the painting’s stretcher bars and linen, as though it were the backstage entrance to 'Happy Soul'.
The soundtrack to the work consists of two a cappella versions of Motown songs, Marvin Gayes’ 'What’s Going On' and Smokey Robinson’s 'Being with You'. The former addresses a collective body in response to episodes of police brutality in the 1960’s: “Mother, mother There's too many of you crying.” In contrast, the song 'Being with You' embodies individual, intimate desire with lyrics like “I don't care what they think about me and I don't care what they say.” This contrast echoes the duality of interiority and exteriority, aloneness and togetherness in the animation and painting. The absence of the expected musical accompaniment allows the content of the lyrics to resonate in a more potent, and at times uncanny way.