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
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.