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
Waiter Waiter Curator Curator
13 February – 16 April 2011, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton Gallery will present the first solo exhibition in Berlin by celebrated British Conceptual artist Bruce McLean (born London, 1944). Using diverse media and iconoclastic approaches, McLean’s work is preoccupied with the minutiæ of human behaviour — the gestures, styles and mannerisms that orchestrate our lives. His art reveals a subversive desire to poke fun at every imaginable artistic or social convention.
The exhibition will present original documentation of McLean’s performance projects from the late 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s alongside films that have never been shown before in Germany. Working in a variety of mediums including painting, film and video projection, performance and photography, Bruce McLean is one of the most important artists of his generation.
It was with live works that McLean first grabbed the attention of the art world. An impulsive, energetic Glaswegian, he became known as an art world 'dare-devil' by critiquing the fashion-oriented, social climbing nature of the contemporary art world in the '70s. At St Martins his professors included the great sculptors of the day, Anthony Caro and Phillip King, whose work he mocked ruthlessly. In ‘Pose Work for Plinths I’ (1971; London, Tate), he used his own body to parody the poses of Henry Moore's celebrated reclining figures, daring to mock the grand master himself.
The notion of using his whole body as a sculptural vehicle of expression led him to explore live actions: 'it was when we (a collective) invented the concept of 'pose' that We could do anything'. Pose was live sculpture: Not mime, not theatre, but live sculpture. My colleagues, Paul Richards, Ron Carr, Garry Chitty, Robin Fletcher and I created Nice Style 'The World's First Pose Band', which performed for several years, offering audiences such priceless gems as the 'semi-domestic spectacular Deep Freeze, a four-part pose opera based on the lifestyle and values of a mid-west American vacuum cleaner operative'. Behind the obvious humour was a desire to break with the establishment, something that he has continued to do throughout his life and work. In 1972, for instance, he was offered an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, but opted, for a 'retrospective' lasting only one day. 'King for a Day' consisted of catalogue entries for a thousand mock-conceptual works, among them The Society for Making Art Deadly Serious piece, Henry Moore revisited for the 10th Time piece and There's no business like the Art business piece (sung).
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼The exhibition WAITER WAITER CURATOR CURATOR will present one of McLean’s little-known early films ‘Crease Crisis’ (1973). ‘Crease Crisis’ creates an absurdist mise-en-scène in which Paul Richards is seen maniacally and obsessively reviewing his appearance in a mirror, occasionally ironing parts of his trench coat, in a vain and ultimately useless attempt to emulate the image of the American movie star Victor Mature, whose picture hangs on the wall.
One of the latest pieces within the exhibition is a short film: ‘Soup. A Concept Consommé’ that displays McLean’s keen script-writing skills. Accentuating the ‘theatre’ of restaurant-going ‘Soup’ takes its theme from the history of Modernist sculpture and the observations of manners, gestures and behaviours of staff and customers in an up-market restaurant. Incisively humourous both films derive from a concern with the seemingly trivial aspects of appearance and body language, and how they inform the different identities we knowingly and subconsciously assume.
The first exhibition McLean participated in was the experimental and highly regarded ‘When Attitudes Become Form’, curated by the late Harald Szeemann, at the Kunsthalle Bern. Other seminal shows he participated in were ‘Op Losse Schroeven’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1969; ‘Information’, curated by Kynaston L. McShine at the Museum of Modern Art New York 1970, and ‘The British Avant Garde’, New York Cultural Centre 1970. In the 1980's other important shows included ‘A New Spirit in Painting’, Royal Academy 1981; ‘Zeitgeist’, The Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin 1982; and ‘documenta 6, 7 & 8’, Kassel.
Between 1981 and 1986 — when the gallery closed — McLean had nine solo and group exhibitions at D’Offay Gallery in London, showing alongside Andre, Baselitz, Beuys, Clemente, Gilbert & George, Johns, Kelly, Kiefer, de Kooning, Koons, Kounellis, Long, Merz, Miyajima, Mucha, Nauman, Polke, Richter, Schnabel, Smith, Turrell, Twombly, Viola, Warhol, and Weiner.