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
Plant Scenery of the World
29 July – 29 October 2017, Inverleith House, Edinburgh
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is delighted to present a major new group exhibition at Inverleith House and the Front Range Glasshouses as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.
Plant Scenery of the World brings together new, commissioned and existing work by Scottish, UK and European artists alongside rare and unseen archival material from the Garden’s own collection and botanical drawings commissioned by RBGE.
Summer 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of RBGE’s modernist Glasshouses, the ‘Front Range’, designed by city architects George Pearce and Allan Pendreigh and opened in 1967. A rare example of Scottish modernist architecture and lauded for its radical design, the Range was commissioned to house plants collected in tropical, temperate, and arid lands by British explorers . Together with RBGE’s Victorian Palm House, these innovative and pioneering glass structures are significant for botanists and aesthetes alike, representing an assimilation of 18th and 19th century Enlightenment values with the utopian ideologies of the mid-twentieth century in the heart of the Garden.
Plant Scenery of the World reflects on these buildings for plants critically examining their past, current and future use from the 18th century to the present day. The exhibition also seeks to explore our enduring fascination with tropical plants and changing attitudes towards collection, exploration, study and display through archival material and new work by contemporary artists.
Through researching plant species and archival material at RBGE, exhibiting artists have directly responded to the site and Collections with new context-specific commissions. Laura Aldridge will exhibit a new nature printed floor using exotic plant material grown in the Edinburgh Glasshouses continuing her longstanding engagement with sculpture as an immersive, sensory driven experience; Charlie Billingham will create an energetic and elegant room installation with new wall prints and painting installations stylistically borrowed from the work of Enlightenment and Regency era social satirists; and Bobby Niven will create a new series of cast and carved sculptures investigating the Garden’s Carpological collection.
Oliver Osborne brings together a selection of emotive and ambivalent rubber plant paintings from 2012 to the present day in a newly commissioned room installation and Ben Rivers presents the first UK screening of his recent film Urth (2016) a dystopian meditation on ambitious experiments, constructed environments, and visions of the future shot in the science research facility Biosphere 2, Arizona.
Items on display from the Garden’s collection include architectural plans and drawings of the Victorian Palm House and Front Ranges from 1892 to 1965 and living plant displays presented in newly commissioned plant pots by Charlie Billingham.
Central to the exhibition is a suite of previously unseen watercolour paintings by the artist-botanist R.K. Greville (1794-1866) from which the exhibition takes its name. Held in the RBGE archives and commissioned c. 1858 to accompany the eponymous but subsequently unpublished monthly periodical, these paintings represent anachronistic depictions of exotic plants in imagined ‘natural’ landscapes, centralising questions of perception, authenticity, and acts of looking still relevant to artists and botanists today.
Considering the Glasshouses as a nexus between culture and nature, dialogical displays of contemporary art and archival material will examine historical narratives dominated by Western exploration; narratives that have shaped (pre)conceptions of ‘the exotic’, (mis)understandings of other places and views on identity and otherness. By investigating plants through human culture, the exhibition demonstrates the way we use plants as symbols, impressing them with our own values and ideological beliefs. It will question human enquiry and the nature of perception, think about captivity, false habitats and inhospitable environments and begin to consider how plants might communicate as well as how artists might speak through plants.
Plant Scenery of the World offers integrated displays, revelatory pairings and a polyphony of voices, to illuminate new perspectives across the disciplines of art and science. The exhibition will evoke the theatrical, awe-inspiring, utopian and naturalistic display of plants under glass. The gallery presentation takes inspiration from the varied climatic zones of the Glasshouses, creating different ‘temperatures’ and offering an interconnected series of ‘micro-climates’ from room to room. Together the exhibition will create an uplifting and celebratory display context which is receptive to different accounts of the world and expanded thinking around historical and contemporary endeavour.
This exhibition is part of the 2017 Edinburgh Art Festival and has received funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
Laura Aldridge | Charlie Billingham | Bobby Niven | Oliver Osborne | Ben Rivers with botanical paintings by Işık Güner, Jacqui Pestell and Sharon Tingey and artworks by R. K. Greville from the collection of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.