Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Solo exhibition presented by

The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, 5b Pall Mall, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 4UY
2nd – 14th October 2017 during Frieze Week

… looking back, perhaps the greatest liberating
factor lay in the fact that I was forced, to get out into
the city […] and look at it with fresh eyes. Every city
has its own surges of life, its patterns of movement,
and no amount of office-bound mapping and
statistical compilation can convey the vital insights
that direct knowledge of this kind can provide.
Kenneth Watts, Outwards from Home, 1997
The Cynthia Corbett Gallery is delighted to
announce the forthcoming solo exhibition of new
works by Tom Leighton.
Outwards From Home is born from Leighton’s
recent travels to Hong Kong, Macau, Dubai and
Tokyo. The exhibition title, Outwards From Home, is
borrowed from a book written by the artist’s
grandfather Kenneth Watts, which recounts the
phenomenon of urbanization in Britain and Asia
against a backdrop of change in the global, political
and economic climate. Watts draws on almost half
a century’s experience with the United Nations
Development Programmes to make a strong plea
for the organization. As a personal odyssey, it
reflects encounters with men and women
throughout the world. Leighton’s new works hold a
similar resonance, moving seamlessly between
global commentary, an individual’s path through the
city, and by way of a homage to his grandfather, his
own personal ancestry – he looks outwards and
returns to home.
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Leighton
reopens the symbiotic terrain of architecture and
society. He plays the big Other: like the gigantic
vertical zoos born by his creation, he casts a
magisterial eye over the events taking place below.

Leighton’s recent works extract from the shocking
rapidity of urban development; steps beyond
urbanization towards super-urbanization, from
globalization to hyper-globalization. They form an
artistic spin on Foucauldian surveillance and
technological euphoria; technology’s shared
capacity for human emancipation and the threat that
it could one day supersede human control. Leighton
revels in the freedom from physical and practical
restraints while paying tribute to the great minds that
develop functioning super structures, the evermore
gravity defying architecture of the world.
In his astounding new compositions, surface is
negotiated with an engineer’s touch. Digitally
created, fictional environments are populated by
opulent forms and functional features; nationally
honoured landmarks feature alongside everyday
town planning; advertising boards glisten above
converging highways. Exploring the diversity of
Asian architecture in concept and design, Leighton
positions iconic features in close proximity while
calling upon colour and form to render the most
sublime, kaleidoscopic distortions. Vision is
destabilized with images that are simultaneously
symmetrical and off-balance. The futuristic is fused
with exquisite historical details, geographicallydisparate
monuments are positioned alongside one
another, transforming recognisable cities into
timeless non-sites. In the manner of all great
architects, Leighton instils the fantastic and abstract
with concrete existence.
Tom Leighton was born in London in 1981.
Following his BA in printmaking from the University
of Brighton in 2004, he gained an MA from the Royal
College of Art in 2006. Leighton’s expansive and
vertigo inducing works are the product of years
spent carefully assembling hundreds and
thousands of photographs. In 2006 he won the
John Purcell Paper Prize and the Thames & Hudson
Book Prize. He has exhibited in London, Paris,
Berlin, Hong Kong, Basel, Tokyo and throughout
the United States. Major exhibitions include:
ar•chi•tec•ton•ic at Site/109 / New York, 2014;
“Digital Darkroom” Slideshow Night at The
Annenberg Space for Photography / Los Angeles,
2012; RE:DEFINE at The Goss-Michael Foundation / Dallas, 2012; and Tom Leighton (Solo Exhibition) at
Foundation Starke Berlin / Berlin, 2010. Collections include: The Sandor Family Collection / Chicago, MuCEM
(French National Museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations), Tiroche Collection / UK/Israel, The Shein Family Collection of Pennsylvania, Felix Robyns, 12 Advisors Group / London/Brussels, Nicholas
Topiol, President of Christian Lacroix / Paris, The UBS Art Collection, JCA Group / London & The Victoria
and Albert Museum. His highly technical constructions have been critically acclaimed by publications The
Independent, Senso, Le Monde and Art Review.

About The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

The Cynthia Corbett Gallery is an international contemporary art gallery, which has an annual exhibition
programme in London, Los Angeles and New York, as well as exhibiting at contemporary art fairs worldwide.
The Gallery represents established American, British and European artists whose careers have been
nurtured since the Gallery’s inception in 2004.

T +44 (0) 20 8947 6782 | M UK +44(0) 7939 085 076 | M US +1 773 600 7719


Submissions are Open to be included in the next issue of

ArtQuench Magazine

“Best International Creatives 2017”

Details at