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
You Are Not An Evening
26 May – 25 August 2013, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen
„You expected something.
You expected something else perhaps.
In any case, you expected something.
It may be the case you expected what you are hearing now.
But even in that case you expected something different.“
— Peter Handke, Offending the Audience
Characteristic for the paintings of Sanya Kantarovsky is a juxtaposition of abstract and concrete elements and their vivid interaction. A canvas that seems to combine purely abstract forms upon first sight, for example, can turn out to depict a drawn curtain or an arm, rendered visible by the addition of a single, inconspicuous painted hand. The abstract arrangement of two simple, intersecting lines might equally be perceived as windows and doors. Within the artist’s work, figuration and abstraction are at once present and absent as elements of mutual dependence and interrogation. The representational parts are reminiscent of disparate sources: items painted in the elegance of Fred Astaire or in the tradition of the famous illustrations of New Yorker magazine stand alongside others recalling political visual propaganda from the 1930s Soviet era or illustrations from children’s books. The subtle melancholic humor of a Franz Kafka informs the atmosphere of these images, complemented by a light touch and gentle use of color. Often enough his works confront the vagaries of the creative process or perception itself: individuals sit before an empty screen, gaze upon a blank image or abashedly grasp their heads at the sight of a white rectangular form.
Kantarovsky’s canvases are multilayered organisms that eliminate the difference between the concrete and abstract, high and low, the decorative and the politically engaged, through their precise juxtaposition. At first sight, they seem seductively accessible, but closer inspection reveals that his works subtly invalidate such terms of classification. Kantarovsky maintains this openness in his occasional role as curator and his tireless interrogation of the architectural situations within which his work is presented.
The new series of paintings for You are Not an Evening shows a state of before and after, behind and inbetween. Rather than depicting the actual incident, individuals are shown departing the scene with their backs turned to the viewer or all but gone from view. Figures stare in fascination at something that lies beyond the bounds of our perception. Elsewhere, abstract forms encroach upon the image's narrative like dark clouds... Pursuing the strategies that underpin Peter Handke's play Publikumsbeschimpfung ("Offending the Audience"), the exhibition concept emphasizes the absence and subversion of classical terms of reference in art. The exhibition title, You are Not an Evening, elucidates the gesture of this presentation. Likewise, the titles of individual works, such as There are no Intervals Here and You Expected Objects, illuminate the paintings' subscription to subverting the very expectations that their deceptively straightforward appearance might evoke in the viewer.
To further complicate the viewer's encounter with the paintings, Kantarovsky develops a situation in the GAK, outlining smaller spaces within it by suspending linear sculptures akin to theatrical set elements. These thin steel railings define discreet observational points within the larger rooms. Kantarovsky further restructures the space with five suspended walls that appear to be covered in dramatically oversized tailored men's shirts and suits. These hybrids of autonomous sculpture and exhibition display, choreograph the viewer's movement within the institutional architecture, further enacting the exhibition as theater. The clothed walls serve as supports for five smaller paintings, evoking brooches, cufflinks or other garment embellishments. As Kantarovsky puts it, "The body becomes architecture."
Sanya Kantarovsky was born 1982 in Moscow and lives in New York. He studied fine arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, and the University of Los Angeles. He has exhibited at Lax><Art (Los Angeles) and several galleries internationally, and curated the group show Things, Words and Consequences at Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 2012. He is currently working on an animated film for Lax><Art and is working on a two person presentation with Frances Stark for Art Basel Features. You are Not an Evening is his first institutional exhibition in Europe.