Coming to Thinkspace Gallery in April : Jacub Gagnon’s “Short Stories”

Jacub Gagnon
Short Stories
April 1 – April 22, 2017

Los Angeles, CA – Thinkspace is pleased to present Short Stories, featuring new works by Canadian painter Jacub Gagnon. In the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, Gagnon stages impossible sequences of the known. His works combine familiar elements like woodland animals and domestic objects in unlikely pairings to create wonderfully strange encounters and evocative juxtapositions. Pushing the natural world and the rules of its probability into the realm of the unreal and unnatural, Gagnon transforms the animal world into one of puzzling beauty and surreal interrelationship. Here, everything is enigmatically interconnected, subject to its own elusive order, and governed by attenuated physical laws where anything is possible. The human looms as a suggested presence in artifacts alone, shadowed in objects and traces, but ultimately remains outside of, and uninitiated to, this curious animal world.

Known for these meticulous paintings of animals and objects, Gagnon creates limitless combinations, contingencies, and distortions of scale. He achieves an impressive level of luminosity and detail with layered acrylic paints and the application of tiny brushes. The works feel hyperreal, thanks to their execution and richness of minutiae, dramatically lit from within through a spotlight approach to contrasting light. Subjects are usually rendered on dark black backgrounds and suspended in empty, nondescript spaces to sustain these moments of disbelief and contextual ambiguity. The dramatic lighting is undeniably theatrical and otherworldly, with the single directional flooding of light to contribute to the feeling of arrest. Strangely Baroque in their richness, jeweled tones, and contrasts, the paintings demand the viewer’s complete and rapt absorption. Recently, Gagnon has started to work on light or white backgrounds as well to create a different feeling of contrast and starkness, using negative, rather than blackened, space to isolate the subjects on the surface.

Inspired by a stream of consciousness approach to language, Gagnon’s compositions often begin with words and associative vignettes which he forges into literal images; abstract ideas sprung from dreamlike recombinations of creatures and scenarios, ideas and stories. Whether giraffes tethered to tea cups, birds in armor, or wolves befriending deer, endless possibility reigns in this creative landscape of extended visual metaphor – unfettered by physics, common sense or the mores of practicality. The impossibility of these relationships remains a constant inspiration to the artist, fascinated by the perversely beautiful manifestations of the familiar transformed through the free association of the surreal. At times, the contortion of the probable and commonplace leads to moments of discomfort, aberration, and darkness, and at others to whimsy and playfulness. At times, freakishly beautiful, these worlds force the viewer to reconsider their own place amongst these fictions and, by proxy, to the unknowns of the natural world. Anything here is possible; magic is reality freed from law.

In this new body of work, Gagnon continues to play with the suggestion of narrative and story, capturing concise moments of the unbelievable in each painting. Animals become vehicles for relatable human experiences, and each”short” suggests a part of a larger story and framework – a lengthier narrative arc just beyond the image frame. Inspired by the tradition of fairytale and its archetypes, Gagnon explores themes like family, encounters between friend and foe, love and loss, and the disruption and restitution of order.  Like a world ecstatically unhinged, Gagnon’s imagination knows no limits or bounds. Here, anything is possible, and magic is a matter of course.

 

Coming to Thinkspace Gallery in April – Kari-Lise Alexander’s “Wake”

Kari-Lise Alexander
WAKE
April 1 – April 22, 2017

Concurrently on view in the project room are new works by Kari-Lise Alexander in WAKE, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. A Seattle-based painter, Alexander is inspired by her Scandinavian heritage, particularly its folklore. Her sensuous portraits of beautiful women, derived from traditional Nordic stories, appear haunted and ethereal at times, and at others formidable. Alexander’s paintings present pivotal moments drawn from these traditional stories, capturing junctures of transformation and episodes of vulnerability. Highly detailed and beautifully pigmented, her works are lush, hyperreal and stylized. Filled with rich flora in vibrant hues, and high contrasting lights and darks, the imagery she develops is both mysterious and dramatic, conjuring the intensity of the surreal.

Inspired by 19th Century Swedish illustrators like John Bauer, who similarly depicted mythological subjects and folklore, Alexander has continued to establish her stylistic voice while obliquely referencing similar historical precedents. Recent works, for instance, have felt inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites though transformed through a contemporary sensibility and palette all her own. In Wake, Alexander incorporates fluid textures and effects that reference water. At times her portraits dissolve or are submerged in a watery blur, existing in constant tension with the intermingling of fluid and solid states. A word that invokes several states of transition and change, from sleep to consciousness, the lulled disturbance of water, to the mourning of death, Wake is as hypnotic and seductive as it is emotionally resonant.

Cinta Vidal Interviewed about her POW! WOW! Hawaii at HoMA mural.

Thinkspace Family artist Cinta Vidal completed a stunning mural at the Honolulu Museum of Art during Pow! Wow! Hawaii this year that we were honored to curate. The above video documents the creation of this mural in addition to an interview with Cinta about her inspiration. We’re excited to see Cinta Vidal in action again in a few weeks as she works on a featured installation for Juxtapozed at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

You can view all available works from Cinta Vidal on the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Studio Visit with Seth Armstrong for “Pretty Deep Shit”

Seth Armstrong’s paintings self-consciously capture a sense of looking, arresting moments with cinematic detail and voyeuristic curiosity. Varying in scale, the paintings offer views that are alternately intimate and vast, moving expertly between the monumental and the minute. Laden with detail and suggestion, each piece offers a moment in the trajectory of a larger narrative, and the viewer is compelled to realign the fractures of these inconclusive moments. Hanging the works on suggestion rather than on the overt, Armstrong builds tension and excitement in every painting with the possibility and expectation of action.

Very excited to share this new body of work with you all soon. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks and details as we grow closer to the show.

Pretty Deep Shit opening at Thinkspace Gallery, April 29th.

Opening Reception of Marco Mazzoni “Dear Collapse”, Atsuko Goto “The Silence of Idols”, and Alvaro Naddeo “Discarded”

We’d like to thank everyone who came to the opening reception of Marco Mazzoni “Dear Collapse”, Atsuko Goto “The Silence of Idols”, and Alvaro Naddeo “Discarded”. In the installation space of the main room, a video of Marco Mazzoni’s moleskin notebook played while those in attendance perused the breathtaking new work. Atsuko Goto’s haunting images drew people closer to inspect the hypnotizing eyes within her work, while Alvaro Naddeo’s detailed compositions challenged viewers to question their own observations of the world.

All three exhibition are on view now through March 25th.

Juxtapozed and Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics Opening at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art April 2017

Opening April 21, 2017, at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art are Juxtapozed and Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics!, co-curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gallery, Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery, and Adjunct Curator of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Josef Zimmerman. The second installment of exhibitions Los Angeles’ Thinkspace Gallery has brought to the Museum to date, following the success of Invisible College from 2015, both showcase new and exciting work from the steadily expanding New Contemporary Art Movement. A continuation of Thinkspace’s mutually reinforced mission to garner institutional exposure and recognition for New Contemporary Art, its history, founders, key players, and artists, the exhibitions celebrate the impact of its most enduring media platforms, Juxtapoz Magazine, and the work of one of its most iconic trailblazers. Now widely considered the largest and longest running art movement in history, the New Contemporary Art Movement encompasses everything from Street Art and Muralism to Pop Surrealism and Hyperrealism.

The New Contemporary Art Movement has been largely self-sustained through a network of alternative cultural platforms, primarily outside of the mainstream and institutionally vetted art markets, including social media, blogs, zines, underground collectives, galleries, and urban and alternative spaces. Copro and Thinkspace galleries in Los Angeles are two of the movement’s most visible and active proponents, taking the work to art fairs, collaborating with galleries internationally, and opening institutional channels for its exhibition and appreciation. Boasting 400,000 followers through its various social media outlets, Thinkspace has helped to bring the work to a wider international audience. As the movement continues to expand on a global scale, its diversity, inclusivity, and vitality set it apart from more exclusionary art world models.

Co-founder and Curator of Thinkspace Gallery, Andrew Hosner, says, “Our plan is to continue to knock on the door of the establishment until more listen, more take notice, more start to add these artists to their permanent collections, and start to give the movement the attention it has earned and deserved.”

Juxtapozed, a show title drawn from the magazine of the same name in the imperative tense, celebrates the legacy made possible by Juxtapoz. The access the publication has facilitated since the early 90s to a widely cast variety of media and expressions, has shaped the movement itself and preserved its continued relevance. Founded in San Francisco in 1994 by Robert Williams, Craig Stecyk, Greg Escalante, Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello, Juxtapoz evolved from the intent to foster and support the art and culture of the underground. The magazine provided an alternative voice and narrative as a counterpart to the dominant New York-centric discourse of contemporary art and featured artists who straddled the boundaries between “high” and “low” culture. Aligning itself with the aesthetics of contemporary street culture, figurative art, California car culture, gig posters, tattoos, graphics, psychedelia, and comics, the publication became a conduit and forum for an entirely new generation of artists who were latching on to a populist visual vernacular.

Juxtapozed features an installation by Laurence Vallieres and murals by Cinta Vidal & Bumblebeelovesyou. The group exhibition features individual works by 48 New Contemporary artists, including 1010, Aaron Nagel, Alex Garant, Allison Sommers, Amy Sol, Bec Winnel, Benjamin Garcia, Brian M. Viveros, Chris Mars, Cinta Vidal, Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker, Daniel Bilodeau, David Rice, Derek Gores, Dulk, Erik Siador, Erika Sanada, Fernando Chamarelli, Frank Gonzales, Fuco Ueda, Ian Francis, Jeff Gilette, Joe Sorren, Joel, Daniel Phillips, Jolene Lai, Jon Swihart, Josh Keyes, Juan Travieso, Kazu, Kelly Vivanco, Kikyz1313, Lauren Brevner, Liz Brizzi, Mark Ryden, Martin Whatson, Martin Wittfooth, Mary Iverson, Mike
Davis, Meggs, Ron English, Sepe, Sergio Garcia, Shag, Shepard Fairey, Stephanie Buer, Telmo Miel, Travis Louie, Wiley Wallace, and Yosuke Ueno.

‘JUXTAPOZED’
Curated by Andrew and Shawn Hosner with Gary Pressman & Josef Zimmerman

Opening Reception:
Friday, April 21st 7-10PM

On View: April 22nd – July 9th, 2017

Taking Place At:
Fort Wayne Museum of Art
311 E. Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Featuring murals and installations from:
Bumblebeelovesyou – Cinta Vidal – Icy and Sot – Laurence Vallieres

Alongside a group show featuring works from:
1010
Aaron Nagel
Alex Garant
Allison Sommers
Amy Sol
Bec Winnel
Benjamin Garcia
Brian Viveros
Chris Mars
Cinta Vidal
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
Daniel Bilodeau
David Rice
Derek Gores
Dulk
Erik Siador
Erika Sanada
Fernando Chamarelli
Frank Gonzales
Fuco Ueda
Ian Francis
Jason Seife
Jeff Gillette
Joe Sorren
Joel Daniel Phillips
Jolene Lai
Jon Swihart
Josh Keyes
Juan Travieso
Kazu
Kelly VIvanco
Kikyz1313
Lauren Brevner
Liz Brizzi
Mark Ryden
Martin Whatson
Martin Wittfooth
Mary Iverson
Meggs
Mike Davis
Ron English
Scott Listfield
Sepe
Sergio Garcia
Shag
Shepard Fairey
Stephanie Buer
Telmo Miel
Travis Louie
Wiley Wallace
Yosuke Ueno

Thinkspace Gallery
www.thinkspacegallery.com
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Copro Gallery
www.coprogallery.com
IG icon @coprogallery

FWMoA
www.fwmoa.org
IG icon @fwmoa

Coming to the Thinkspace Gallery Office this March – Alvaro Naddeo

We’re excited to announce artist Alvaro Naddeo will be showing his work in the Thinkspace Gallery ‘office’ coming this March.

Alvaro Naddeo is from São Paulo, Brazil and 15 years ago he started to move around as he searched for his path in life. First he found himself living in Lima, Peru then making the big move to New York City, followed by a short stint in Tampa, ultimately landing in Los Angeles where he currently lives and creates. All of these varying urban environments helped to shape his memory and inform his work. From an early age he fell in love with painting, watching his father who is a renowned illustrator work. Due to a lack of self-confidence, Naddeo pushed his brush aside and pursued a career in advertising as an Art Director. Twenty years later, while living in New York City and being exposed to its many contrasts, his desire to pick up his brushes was rejuvenated and he came back to painting with a focused intensity and a newfound confidence. The subject matter of his work is waste, overconsumption and social inequality. The brands, logos and packaging depicted in his work are objects with an inherent duality, both desirable and despicable, a clear byproduct of having worked in consumer advertising for all those years. We here at Thinkspace are excited to see where his work takes him and to be able to help give it an audience.