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
1 February – 9 March 2013, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton is very pleased to present ‘Object Lessons’ by East London artist-filmmaker John Smith. This is Smith’s third solo show at the gallery. His work can also be seen at transmediale 2013 ¬– the Berlin-based art, culture and technology festival - with screenings on 30 January and 2 February. (http://www.transmediale.de/bwpwap)
For ‘Object Lessons’ at Tanya Leighton, Smith will present three video works: Dad’s Stick, 2012 (a recent commission by Frieze Film London), unusual Red cardigan, 2011, and Home Suite, 1993-4, all of which closely scrutinize inanimate objects and their real or imagined histories. These objects are brought to life by spoken words and captions in the form of descriptions, memories and speculations, reminding us of their unique past lives in the hands of numerous unseen protagonists.
Dad’s Stick focuses upon three well-used objects that were shown to the artist by his father shortly before he died. Two of these were so steeped in history that their original forms and functions were almost completely obscured. A third object seemed to be instantly recognisable, but turned out to be something else entirely. Taking these enigmatic artefacts as its starting point, Dad’s Stick creates a dialogue between visual abstraction and literal meaning, exploring the contradictions of memory and history to hint at the character of a dead father and his relationship with his son.
In unusual Red cardigan Smith’s discovery of an overpriced VHS tape of his films on eBay triggers obsessive speculation about the seller’s identity, based upon the revelation that the seller has put a diverse collection of other things up for sale. The three chapters of Home Suite (showing in this exhibition on three separate monitors) take us on an extended close-up journey through a decaying domestic landscape. Playing upon ambiguity and the unseen, Home Suite uses physical details of the artist’s house and its contents to trigger fragmented verbal descriptions of associated memories. “The space gradually fills with its history: complex, eccentric, funny - until it has become a kind of monumental environment, about which epic stories could be told for ever more. The work serves to remind us about the complexities of the history of even simple spaces and objects, a complexity to which most films do not even begin to do justice.” Nicky Hamlyn, Film Art Phenomena
John Smith’s work has been widely shown internationally for more than three decades. It is regarded for its formal ingenuity and its ability to combine compelling narrative with an acute observation of the everyday, often subverting the boundaries between documentary and fiction. As Smith puts it, ‘...if you look hard enough all meanings can be found or produced close to home.’
Smith’s recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Horizon’, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012); ‘Bildstörung’, Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2012); ‘Worst Case Scenario’, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen (2012) and ‘unusual Red cardigan’, PEER, London (2011). Group shows include: ‘Image Counter Image’, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2012); ‘Locus Solus: Impressions of Raymond Roussel’, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2011) and Serralves Museum, Porto (2012); ‘Descriptive Acts’, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012); ‘Has the Film Already Started’, Tate Britain, London (2011) and ‘The Talent Show’, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and MoMA PS1, New York (2010). John Smith received a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists in 2011. His work is included in a number of collections including the Arts Council, London; Tate Gallery, London; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull and Cisneros Foundation, MiamiA forthcoming artist’s monograph will shortly be available at the gallery, published by Mousse and Sternberg Press.