There's a sidewalk inside this gut
26 October – 20 December 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Preview: Friday, 25 October 7–9 pm
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present ‘There’s a sidewalk inside this gut’, Gerasimos Floratos’ first solo exhibition in Germany.
Gerasimos used to work the night shift. Around 1:00am, maybe, he started tripping in the shop, and smoking spliffs in the basement, waiting to go out. Sometimes he’d be there making coffee for the customers and would start to feel something magical, to see constellations of building lights swirling around his head like halos; ‘Times Square Mysticism,’ he calls it. This was in Hell’s Kitchen, where he’s lived his whole life and where all of his characters come from. His characters are annoying, obnoxious, contradictory sweethearts. That won’t shut up, that seem kind of mad, all these clowns and maniacs on every corner, everywhere you turn. The old lady shouting at you in the hallway. Your neighbours. All these different sorts of people just trying to live their lives and get through their days. Floratos draws every day. He’s been drawing these grumpy, loudmouth characters ever since he was little boy. He imagines New York City as a great churning digestive tract consuming everything that enters, grinding everything down, turning it into ... crap, energy, inspiration, good feelings, bad feelings. His figures are squished and contorted. Jumbled together like guts; like intestines, constantly rotating, changing direction, packed tighter and tighter inside each other. Now more and more figures are layered on top. He likes to paint over collages of his drawings and works everything up into an overwhelming hallucinatory mess; which is just how it feels like in Midtown sometimes (most of the time). You’re walking down the street and you’re screaming on the inside. “Fuck awffff” shout the drawings in the background. New York’s a collection of mouths and assholes that will never quite shut. The city’s anxiety, temptation, overstimulation, hyperactivity, desire, delight. The city’s full of mouths and chews you right up. There’s a sidewalk inside this gut.
Floratos is painting inside the belly of the beast. He’s built his own little paradise under the sidewalk. Literally under the sidewalk; in the basement of the old Hit Factory on 48th Street where he’s made himself a studio that extends right down under the street. In the evening rush hour when everybody else is leaving work, he hears them clacking and tapping and thumping overhead. Next door there’s a dance studio that’s also a Broadway rehearsal room so he can always hear clapping and singing and dancing around the clock; pure energy coming down through the walls and the ceilings, pushing in from every side. He’s down there painting New York from the inside, crumpled up inside its colon, painting paintings over paintings over drawings and spinning his canvases around and around.
2 November – 20 December 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton is pleased to announce a project with Japanese artist Hiroka Yamashita – marking the first time her work has been exhibited in Europe.
Yamashita’s paintings toe a line between figuration and abstraction, and observation and invention. The figures that dot her compositions are often sketched atop bodies of water, or fields of long grass. The interaction between humans and the natural world is a recurring theme, as Yamashita’s subjects reveal the traditions and methods through which society shapes its environment. There are seafaring groups pushing a dingy past a moonlit ridge, others admire cherry blossoms from behind a bright orange fence or dance beneath falling bougainvillea. A fresh catch of netted fish floats above a sorbet coloured ground.
The inventive compositions in which these interplays unfold do not refer to actual space, but rather a layered assemblage of architecture and manicured gardens, interspersed with abstraction. Occasionally, the ostensible subject of a painting is occluded by looming brushwork – giving the sensation of peering through fog or past branches. In other paintings, the ground on which a scene unfolds is little more than a vague coastline or horizon. This tension between density and oblivion calls attention to the ultimately unpredictable relationship between ourselves and our environment.
Art Basel Miami Beach
5 – 8 December 2019
Preview: 3 – 5 December
At Kurfürstenstraße 156
Until 20 December 2019
Christine Roland & Ruby Barber
At Kurfürstenstraße 156
Until 20 December 2019
Il Ritmo dello Spazio, curated by Stavros Katsanevas
Museo della Grafica, Pisa
12 October – 8 December 2019
Genealogías del Arte
Fundación Juan March & Museo Picasso Málaga
11 October 2019 – 12 January 2020
Bauhaus: Utopia in Crisis, curated by Professor Daniel Sturgis, Bauhaus University, Weimar
Opening January 2020
David Diao, 2018
Delmonico books — Prestel
With contributions from Philip Tinari, Michael Corris, Pi Li, Sarah K. Rich, Felicia Chen, Kerry Doran
Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series
Text by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jeannine Tang, and Lanka Tattersall
MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, curated by Susanne Pfeffer with Anna Sailer
17 August 2019 – 16 February 2020
Out Of Order. Positions from the Haubrok Collection (Part I)
Neues Museum Nürnberg
25 October 2019 – 6 January 2020
Travelling Exhibitions Programme of 33rd Bienal de São Paulo
Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
21 November 2019 – 26 January 2020
Infinite Sculpture: From the Antique Cast to the 3D Scan
Co-produced by the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisboa and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris
3 December 2019 – 16 February 2020
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
Migrating Worlds: the Art of the Moving Image in Britain
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
3 October – 29 December 2019
Screening A State of Grace
Exground International Film Festival, Wiesbaden, Germany
15 – 24 November 2019
Screening Slow Glass and The Black Tower
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain
30 January 2020
A Gust of Wind (in the Low and Dark Rooms)
Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples
19 December 2019 – 22 February 2020
Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. Works from the VERBUND COLLECTION, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain
19 July – 1 December 2019
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
Hreinn Friðfinnsson & Bruce McLean
6 June – 3 August 2014, Grazer Kunstverein, Austria
The Grazer Kunstverein’s ongoing investigation into notions of social abstraction has been slowly shifting towards the often-direct relationships between artists and their surroundings. Both emotional as well as intellectual, these relationships frequently result in abstract translations that still keep ‘the social’ as their core point of interest.
Hreinn Friðfinnsson (b. 1943, IS) and Bruce McLean (b. 1944, GB) are pioneer artists from the same generation who, to this day, have never met. Juxtaposed to each another, these artists explore, each in their own way, their physical presence and relationship towards artistic production and representation.
In the mid-1970s, the Icelandic artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson placed an advert in a Dutch art magazine asking people to send him their secrets. By posing as a collector of secrets, the artist would, he thought, allay suspicions that he had any ulterior motive in using or revealing privileged information that might come his way. The secret, Friðfinnsson may be telling us, is that there isn’t one. His art, on the other hand, is an invitation to imagine that there might be. The artist’s work is known for its lyricism and subtle poetry that transcends the often-commonplace subjects and materials that the artist uses to create his pieces. He often presents found objects with which he interferes as little as possible, creating new works that investigate ideas of ‘the self’ and of ‘time’. Friðfinnsson is a natural storyteller. Most of his works often beg for a narrative, or the fabrication of a story.
On invitation to exhibit at the Tate Gallery in 1972, Bruce McLean decided to organize a one-day retrospective titled ‘King for a Day’, after which he would retire from the art world. Despite a distanced and often cynical approach towards the professionalized art industry, he seems to be more active then ever.
McLean’s early research into notions of sculpture gave him the reputation of ‘master at mockery’, questioning the production and representation of ‘the artist’ as well as ‘the work’ itself. It was with his performative works that he first grabbed the attention of the art world. Full of wit and humour, McLean critiqued the fashion-oriented, social climbing nature of the contemporary art world in the ’70s. At a later stage, the prop and painter-like aspects of some of the early performative works developed into theatre pieces and, most recently, into paintings.
Playing with these notions of ‘presence’ and ‘absence’, the Grazer Kunstverein presents a key selection of works that provoke and enhance the conceptual realm both artists seem to occupy.