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
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.