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
No Hanging Out
15 October – 17 November 2016, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present 'No Hanging Out', an exhibition of new works by the American artist Borna Sammak. This is the artist's first exhibition in Germany.
Sammak’s unique approach to mining contemporary culture – translated into video, sculpture and painting – often amounts to an overwhelming, nearly illegible accumulation of the stuff that surrounds us. Everyday life is an increasingly manic and junk-littered thing, accompanied by an incessant stream of everyone else’s half-thoughts and fleeting photos. Sammak’s works fold the fabric of life in on itself, revealing the absurdity of what surrounds us and refocusing our attention on the humorous, foreboding or revealing threads that can otherwise become lost in the white noise.
Four video loops – compiled by layering fragmented footage and digital drawing – are partially framed by baroque arrangements of flora that mirror the overabundance on screen. These ‘Video Paintings’, as the artist calls them, are built with technologically-aided gestures, drawn and mediated to the point they seem to paint themselves. The kitschy subjects hover in front of a mesh of abstracted clips lifted from YouTube, movie trailers and footage shot by the artist. As the videos undulate and loop, recognizable imagery becomes clear in what at first glance seems like a chaotic array of pure color and form.
The architecture of the gallery is likewise skewed and fractured in the exhibition’s largest work, a gray painted sculpture that twists the gallery’s two staircases into geometric abstraction. Like the prismatic architectural paintings of Lyonel Feininger made physical, or if MC Escher had a laptop and Google SketchUp at his disposal, these ‘stairs’ depicts real space made functionless. The sculpture is installed directly in front of the stairs that inspired it, and what would normally be ignored in a visit to the gallery becomes an essential point of reference.
Upstairs, in a painting consisting of hundreds of heat transferred t-shirt graphics on canvas, a litany of countercultures are represented: vaping enthusiasts, bikers, gun lovers and war hawks, armchair politicians and even nihilists. Their slogans of self-definition are reconfigured into something resembling a hyper-contemporary Dadaist poem. The messages in these graphics are familiar – we’ve seen them in cheap tourist shops or memes – but collapsed into one space, their sentiments combine into a wryly antithetical soup that co-opts meaning through recombination. What exactly could an Obamacare-loving, libertarian stoner look like?
If contemporary life feels cluttered, Sammak asks just how much overstimulation we are willing to slog through to find meaning that makes sense to us. In No Hanging Out the accumulation of visual and textual information illustrates the elusive and unfixed meaning of much of what we interact with daily. As the show’s title suggests, we are all too used to the fleeting, itinerant motion of contemporary life. Sammak’s works, in their resolute mania, compel their audience to slow down and look with renewed focus.