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
The Big Picture
2 May – 20 June 2009, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
TANYA LEIGHTON GALLERY is pleased to present The Big Picture, the first solo exhibition by Swiss artist Aurélien Gamboni (b. 1979).
The Big Picture - its title drawn from the TV series produced by the U.S. Army in the 1950s and '60s - presents two new series of works that explore the act of revisiting ideas, systems, and models from the past to approach our present economic, social and political crisis and the accompanying 'crisis of meaning'. The first of the series, entitled Geister und Gespenster, is comprised of drawings that question re-appropriation strategies in contemporary art and
'revivalist' tendencies within culture more broadly. Gamboni layers image upon image creating patterns and figures in an accumulative fashion. The series title refers to Karl Marx's book of 1852, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, wherein he analyses how Napoleon III strategically built upon the ideological fantasy that his uncle Napoleon Bonaparte had left in the collective imagination. According to Marx, this attempt to revive the spirit (Geist) of a figure leads to the apparition of an agonising and hallucinatory spectre (Gespenst). Quoting Marx: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." Drawing upon the inevitability of failure inherent in any restitution attempt - be it of a historical event or fictional character - Geister und Gespenster opens up a space to consider the spectral dimensions of figures and events within personal and collective memory.
Geister und Gespenster, depicting figures such as Gage (from Stephen King's Postmodern Gothic Pet Sematary), Madeleine (Hitchcock's allegorical figure from Vertigo), and Fala (Franklin D. Roosevelt's dog), segues into Gamboni's second series of works. This is an 'empty' structure, inspired by the significant exhibition designs such as the Independent Group's An Exhibit (1957). An Exhibit was conceived as a photographic exhibition without pictures, consisting simply of an arrangement of transparent panels in space. The artist reclaims and modifies this proposition of the empty framework, defacing the Perspex panels with graffiti-like text and sketches. Gamboni's structure stages and questions a 'battle of narrative', playing with binary oppositions common to art history: theory and practice; narrative and anti-narrative; discourse and experience.
Born in 1979, Aurélien Gamboni lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland. He was curator (with Kim Seob Boninsegni) of Forde - an independently-run art space in Geneva (2006 - 2008). Gamboni's work has been exhibited internationally including at Fragile Monumente (2009), Susie Q Projektraum, Zurich; Aurum, Centre PasquArt, Bienne, Switzerland (2008); Swiss Art Awards, Basel (2008); If It's A Bird, Shoot It!, Sculpture Center, New York (2008); Unter 30, CentrePasquArt, Bienne, Switzerland (2007); Berthoud, Lissignol-Chevalier and Galland Grants, Contemporary art center of Geneva (2007); Swiss Art Awards, Basel (2007)(recipient of the National Prize, Kiefer-Hablitzel Foundation).
With special thanks to Henriette Huldisch, Eva Lütte, Hannah Munger and Penny Rafferty.