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
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.