Sara Issakharian 4654 W Washington Blvd, LA 21 October – 11 November 2023
Alejandro Cesarco ‘Conditionals’ Kurfürstenstraße 24/25, Berlin 4 November – 16 December 2023
Signs of Life
Moravian Gallery, Brno
21 September 2023 – 31 March 2024
Tanya Leighton, Berlin
4 November – 16 December 2023
A leap into the Void
GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo
2 February – 28 May 2023
Screening: Ricerche: Two
Contemporanea International Film Festival, Turin
13 – 17 October 2023
It’s Human Nature?
Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg
2 September – 19 November 2023
The land describes itself
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri
8 March – 4 August 2024
Under the Moon, Beneath the Flowers
Tanya Leighton, Los Angeles
9 September – 14 October 2023
Award: 2023 Baloise Art Prize
Tanya Leighton, Los Angeles
Tanya Leighton, Los Angeles
Beyond the Page: South Asian Miniature Painting and Britain, 1600 to Now
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
7 October 2023 – 28 January 2024
All Crescendo, No Reward
Zabludowicz Collection, London
28 September 2023 – 4 February 2024
Solo exhibition (curated by Alberto Salvadori)
Fondazione ICA Milano
Publication: The Man Who Envied Women
Kirsty Bell, Elisabeth Lebovici, Bart van der Heide, Nana Adusei-Poku et al., published by Bierke
Audain Gallery, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
17 October – 14 December 2024
Kunsthal Thy, Denmark
Oakville Galleries, Gairloch Gardens, Toronto
1 October – 30 December 2023
The Lives of Documents—Photography as Project
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
3 May 2023 – 3 March 2024
Tanya Leighton, 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: Tanya Leighton
Associate Director, LA: Andrew McNeely
Associate Director, Berlin: Melanie García
Director of Special Projects: Alana Parpal
Operations Director: Adina Laub
Gallery Manager: Zheng Zhang
Gallery Assistant: Paula Vogels
Finance Manager: Shuai Wang
Head Technician: Dominic Samsworth
Tanya Leighton Berlin
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Berlin 10785 DE
Tanya Leighton Los Angeles
4654 W Washington Blvd
LA 90016 CA
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11–6pm and by appointment
Open Wednesday – Saturday
11–5pm and by appointment
13 January – 25 February 2023, 4654 W Washington Blvd, LA
Thursday 12 January, 11–5pm
A mysterious Pythagorean triangle connects a certain corner of Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan. Its lines traverse seemingly disparate and overlooked places: a local deli on West 47th Street bustling with Times Square-bound tourists and enduring neighbours; a squat tenement at 47th and 8th Avenue where, once upon a time, Victorian dwellers launched an occult revival; and Gerasimos Floratos’s basement studio on West 48th Street, two blocks from where the artist grew up.
Andy’s Deli is where Floratos worked the counter for his shopkeeper father. The tenement? In the 1870s, the New York press jokingly called the five-story building (today an Econo Lodge) “The Lamasery”—for the monasteries of Tibet; it was home to world-travelled occultist Madame H.P. Blavatsky and her nascent Theosophy movement. And Floratos’s subterranean studio is where he envisioned the esoterically toned paintings and sculptures that makeup ‘Grid Monk’.
Floratos was not fully aware of his neighbourhood’s underground history—although he felt it instinctively—until after completing the works for his new exhibition. It came quickly to him to draw a map of his immediate neighbourhood, run through with the ancient philosopher’s signature triangle.
On the floor of Floratos’s workshop sits a postcard from Grand Central Terminal, a few blocks east. Opened in 1913—when Midtown Manhattan remained a relative no-man’s land of reservoirs, ash heaps, warehouses, random tenements and defunct farms—the megalith heralded the mythically styled architecture of the skyscrapers that soon rose up around it.
Above Grand Central’s entry stands a tripartite statue of Mercury, Minerva, and Hercules designed by beaux arts master Jules-Félix Coutan. Lining the ceiling of the station’s rotunda is a wonder-inspiring zodiac mural— revealing the dawn of the Age of Aquarius—by portraitist Paul Helleu. (A triangle similar to Floratos’s is part of its makeup.) Tour guides snicker over Helleu’s supposed gaffe in reversing his star map’s east-west coordinates overlooking the possibility that the artist, who never spoke on the matter, intended to give viewers the impression of seeing the cosmos from above, like the deities guarding the station’s entrance.
Magickal Midtown Manhattan is Floratos’s unlikely home base, inspiration and wellspring. Indeed, when I began conducting walking tours of Occult New York, I never planned to focus on Midtown. I thought I’d be concentrating on the once-bohemian hub of Greenwich Village. But Midtown is where esoteric history goes to hide: back in the day, money and development were bunched downtown; outsider groups and people flocked north, eventually including Floratos’s immigrant father.
The artist is named for the Greek saint Gerasimos, protector of his family’s home island of Kefalonia: a nobleman who became a monk. Floratos’s works express a personal mythology of urban monastics, their thoughts both internal and extraphysical; street-focused but transcendent; their sneakers hitting the pavement but their psyches traversing other worlds, dimensions, territories and intersections of time.
His subjects dwell on the grid but their inner visions, like Gaudi strutting Midtown, bend geography and perception.
Back on the westside, most of the customers at Andy’s Deli were and remain tourists, headed to or from Times Square, the neon backyard of Floratos’s boyhood. He’s fascinated with Times Square nearly as much as he is with its bigger sibling, Las Vegas, with its razzamatazz heightened to the ultimate.
That’s why Floratos feels at home in his windowless, below-ground studio: like Vegas, it’s brightly lit at all hours (in this case by chicken-coop clamp lights) causing visitor and artist alike to lose all sense of time. A brown, curved- brim Bellagio Hotel; Casino baseball cap keeps paint from Floratos’s hair. Pigment-stained support beams run from floor to ceiling, looking a bit like sun-bleached Greek-Egyptian columns; many of his figures are composed of a similar shade of negative space.
Floratos’s subjects are sometimes prayerful or meditative—often with headphones, almost like horizontal halos, they tune in to tune out: homing in on sounds, noise, music and messages known only to them. These seekers and seers create solitude within the shoulder-to-shoulder bustle of urban life. It’s how you remain calm amid honking, shoving and flashing lights. Everything about Floratos’s art—from its psychical and transcendental themes to the footsteps heard from the sidewalk above his workspace to the street-frantic settings of his pieces—is, in the strictest sense, from the neighbourhood.
Grid monks. Their demiurge knows them. Because he walks the path with them.