25 July – 29 August 2020
10 – 12 September 2020
Gallery Weekend Berlin
Christine Roland and Kara Hamilton
At Kurfürstenstraße 156
Site-specific installation at Henry Art Gallery
University of Washington, Seattle
11 June 2020 – 7 February 2021
Suzanne Hudson, World of Art: Contemporary Painting, Thames & Hudson
Olomouc Triennale 2020: The Universal, curated by Gina Renotière
Diversity United. Contemporary European Art
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
11 November 2020 – 21 February 2021
Undo Things Done Exhibition Tour
Senedd, National Assembly for Wales
26 July – 9 September 2020
Masculinities: Liberation through Photography
Barbican Centre, London; Luma Foundation, Arles, and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin
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
Gallery Manager: Melanie Isabel García
Finance Manager: Stefan Schuster
Tanya Leighton GmbH
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm and by appointment
No Hanging Out
15 October – 17 November 2016, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present 'No Hanging Out', an exhibition of new works by the American artist Borna Sammak. This is the artist's first exhibition in Germany.
Sammak’s unique approach to mining contemporary culture – translated into video, sculpture and painting – often amounts to an overwhelming, nearly illegible accumulation of the stuff that surrounds us. Everyday life is an increasingly manic and junk-littered thing, accompanied by an incessant stream of everyone else’s half-thoughts and fleeting photos. Sammak’s works fold the fabric of life in on itself, revealing the absurdity of what surrounds us and refocusing our attention on the humorous, foreboding or revealing threads that can otherwise become lost in the white noise.
Four video loops – compiled by layering fragmented footage and digital drawing – are partially framed by baroque arrangements of flora that mirror the overabundance on screen. These ‘Video Paintings’, as the artist calls them, are built with technologically-aided gestures, drawn and mediated to the point they seem to paint themselves. The kitschy subjects hover in front of a mesh of abstracted clips lifted from YouTube, movie trailers and footage shot by the artist. As the videos undulate and loop, recognizable imagery becomes clear in what at first glance seems like a chaotic array of pure color and form.
The architecture of the gallery is likewise skewed and fractured in the exhibition’s largest work, a gray painted sculpture that twists the gallery’s two staircases into geometric abstraction. Like the prismatic architectural paintings of Lyonel Feininger made physical, or if MC Escher had a laptop and Google SketchUp at his disposal, these ‘stairs’ depicts real space made functionless. The sculpture is installed directly in front of the stairs that inspired it, and what would normally be ignored in a visit to the gallery becomes an essential point of reference.
Upstairs, in a painting consisting of hundreds of heat transferred t-shirt graphics on canvas, a litany of countercultures are represented: vaping enthusiasts, bikers, gun lovers and war hawks, armchair politicians and even nihilists. Their slogans of self-definition are reconfigured into something resembling a hyper-contemporary Dadaist poem. The messages in these graphics are familiar – we’ve seen them in cheap tourist shops or memes – but collapsed into one space, their sentiments combine into a wryly antithetical soup that co-opts meaning through recombination. What exactly could an Obamacare-loving, libertarian stoner look like?
If contemporary life feels cluttered, Sammak asks just how much overstimulation we are willing to slog through to find meaning that makes sense to us. In No Hanging Out the accumulation of visual and textual information illustrates the elusive and unfixed meaning of much of what we interact with daily. As the show’s title suggests, we are all too used to the fleeting, itinerant motion of contemporary life. Sammak’s works, in their resolute mania, compel their audience to slow down and look with renewed focus.