October 20 – December 30, 2018
Curated by Thinkspace Projects

Sandra Chevrier | Cages and the Allure of Freedom
Seth Armstrong | Lil’ Baja’s Last Ride
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker | Suzy is a Surf Rocker
Brooks Salzwedel | Rut in the Soil

(Lancaster, CA) – The Lancaster Museum of Art and History, in collaboration with Los Angeles’ Thinkspace Projects, is pleased to present The New Vanguard II, a dynamic group exhibition of works by international artists working in the New Contemporary art movement. The highly anticipated follow up to 2016’s successful first iteration of The New Vanguard, on view in tandem with this year’s POW WOW! Antelope Valley will feature special solo projects by artists Sandra Chevrier, Seth Armstrong, Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker, and Brooks Salzwedel.

A sequel to what was in 2016 the most extensive presentation of work from the New Contemporary movement in a Southern Californian museum venue to date, The New Vanguard II, in keeping with the first, will present a diverse and expansive group of curated new works. The group show will include new pieces by ABCNT, Adam Caldwell, Alex Garant, Alex Hall, Alexandra Manukyan, Amy Sol, Andrew Schoultz, Benjamin Garcia, Brian Mashburn, Carl Cashman, CASE, Dan Witz, Drew Merritt, EINE, Ekundayo, Ermsy, Esao Andrews, Evoca1, Fernando Chamarelli, Fidia Falaschetti, Fintan Magee, Helen Bur, Hueman, Hula, Huntz Liu, Jaune, Joel Daniel Phillips, Jolene Lai, Juan Travieso, Kaili Smith, Kathy Ager, Kikyz1313, Laura Berger, Lauren YS, Lonac, Mark Dean Veca, Mars-1, Martin Whatson, Masakatsu Sashie, Meggs, Michael Reeder, Milu Correch, The Perez Bros, PichiAvo, RISK, Robert Xavier Burden, Robert Proch, Ronzo, Saner, Scott Listfield , Sergio Garcia, Seth Armstrong, Snik, Stephanie Buer, Super A, Super Future Kid, TikToy, Tran Nguyen, Van Arno, and Yosuke Ueno.

Alongside the focused solo presentations by Chevrier, Armstrong, Barker, and Salzwedel, the exhibition will include site-specific installations by Andrew Hem, Dan Witz, HOTxTEA, Isaac Cordal, Jaune, Laurence Vallieres, and Spenser Little.

A movement unified as much by its diversity as its similitude, ‘New Contemporary’ has come to denote an important heterogeneity of styles, media, contexts, and activations over the course of its establishment since the 90s. Unified in its fledgling beginnings by a founding countercultural impulse searching for its own nomenclature, the New Contemporary movement’s shifting and inclusive designations have offered alternative narratives over the years to those popularized by the dominant art establishment and its conceptual predilections.

Though stylistically disparate, the work belonging to this rapidly expansive movement reveals a desire to reference the popular, social, and subcultural domains of contemporary experience, grounding, rather than rarifying, imagery in the familiar. Looking to the urban landscape and the kaleidoscopic shift of individual identities within it, these artists use the figurative and narrative to anchor their work in the accessible and aesthetically relatable. A fundamentally democratic stance governs the ambitions of this new guard, ever in search of novel ways to expand rather than to contract.

Sandra Chevrier | Cages and the Allure of Freedom
The Montréal-based Canadian artist creates mixed-media works that explore identity as a locus of competing imperatives and complex contradictions. Drawing parallels between the assumed invulnerability of the superhero and the impossible demands placed upon the contemporary individual, Chevrier creates literal and metaphoric masks by combining comic book imagery assembled from found and imagined sources. Her dystopian spin on the iconic figure of the superhero looks to reveal the flaws in the staged extroversion of the superficial veneer.

In Cages and the Allure of Freedom, her first significant solo museum presentation, Chevrier will be showing three life-sized, hand-painted sculptural busts for the first time alongside new two-dimensional works in acrylic, graphite, china ink, and pastels.

Seth Armstrong | Lil’ Baja’s Last Ride
Los Angeles-based painter Seth Armstrong creates paintings that seize time, near-cinematic moments of suspended or implied action. Some offer vast views, and others contracted intimacy, moving freely in and out of public and private spaces to create ambiguous vantage points. Known for paintings that self-consciously capture the act of looking – whether as a voyeur in trespass or a participant in the landscape – Armstrong captures the simultaneity of the city as a place of endless, contingent narratives, jarring interruptions, and suspenseful pauses.

In Lil’ Baja’s Last Ride, Armstrong combines his patented interest in the grittier recesses of urban life with his penchant for humor and a good inside joke, dedicating the exhibition’s title to his recently retired car, the unsuspecting casualty of a freak fire in the MOAH’s parking lot.

Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker | ‘Suzy is a Surf Rocker’
A Huntington Beach native based in Southern California, mixed media painter Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker creates imagery inspired by print media and the graphic sensibilities of 80’s SoCal punk and surf, the subcultural terrain shaping the 80’s in which he grew up. His works feel surreal and partial, intentionally stylized to the point of decontextualization. By framing figurative subjects with an element of voyeuristic ambiguity, Barker’s compositions have the intuitive spontaneity of a Polaroid and the deliberate staging of a stencil. Familiar and far, they feel strange in their proximity.

Brooks Salzwedel | Rut in the Soil
Born in Long Beach, Salzwedel creates translucent landscapes that shift in and out of solid and ethereal states. Like fluid worlds suspended in a cycle of perpetual haunting, the imagery often feels loosely real but undeniably hallucinated and invoked. His works play with the depiction of these unhinged natural and hyperbolically unnatural physical states, combining sparse terrains with fictional mountain ranges and shadowy, diaphanous atmospheres. His mixed-media drawing-based works are created using a combination of graphite, mylar and resin, tape, colored pencil, and ink.

Exhibition on view October 20 through December 30 at:
Lancaster Museum of Art and History
665 W. Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, California 93534

Taking place as part of POW! WOW! Antelope Valley

Cinta Vidal “Viewpoints” WIP via Instagram

Cinta Vidal’s Viewpoints is opening this Saturday, September 15th showing the completed work of the pieces she has teased on Instagram for the past few months.  Join us as Vidal’s work takes over the Thinkspace main room, and read her interview with us for more insight into the inspiration for Viewpoints.

Follow Cinta Vidal on Instagram for studio updates and more.


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Cinta Vidal – Viewpoints | Main Room

September 15, 2018 – October 6, 2018

Cinta Vidal
Viewpoints (Main Room)

Thinkspace is pleased to present Viewpoints, the gallery’s second solo presentation of works by Barcelona-based painter Cinta Vidal. Trained professionally at the Taller de Escenografia Castells Planas in St. Agnès de Malanyanes as a scenographer to create larger than lifesized theatrical backdrops for opera and dance, Vidal has balanced an apprenticed theater trade, work as a freelance illustrator, and her independent output as a muralist and fine artist. Her highly detailed paintings stage a surreal simultaneity in which multiple vantage points intersect, unfettered by gravitational laws. These fractured landscapes and architectures represent a multiplicity of experience, as Vidal hopes to convey the endless variations and relativisms of subjectivity. Her imaginative and dizzyingly fractured works remind us of the feeling of existential disconnect when faced with the incongruity of our inner and outer worlds.

Vidal has always pursued her own work alongside her other professional art ventures, the technical demands of her scenography and illustration work shaping the aesthetic resolve and fastidious execution of her personal output. Her ongoing series of gravity-defying forays into physical and metaphorical space began in 2013. She has since continued to refine and perfect the direction of this fragmented world of spatial free fall, increasing the level of detail and realism in each piece. This unexpected fusion of chaos and control, in which the laws of physics are no longer absolute but the exaction of realistic rendering, perspectives, and shading, is no less meticulous, compels the viewer to consider the inherent heterogeneity of personal perspective. Vidal eschews abstraction in favor of relatable objects and identifiable spaces to explore this feeling of strange familiarity in a universally accessible way.

The artist’s paintings have evolved from a practice primarily based in drawing. This illustrative aesthetic is evident in even her most hyper-realistically rendered painted works, anchoring them visually in a graphic confidence. Her deconstruction of daily spaces ranges from the more architectural and at times abstractedly geometric to the organic and nondescript. Her figurative subjects are anonymous and random, but the personal finds expression through the artist’s choice of objects and mise-en-scène; often pieces from her own memories and life, like the mid-century modern furniture belonging to her grandparents.

In Viewpoints, Vidal offers her patented spatial and experiential synchronicity in the creation of worlds that feel both united and estranged in their divided closeness. Just as in real life, several versions of the same moment coexist imperceptibly to the subjects, as they themselves are caught in the confines of their singularity. Working primarily in acrylic on panel, Vidal combines seeming contradictions in a concurrence of extremes. Structurally and symbolically, she reorganizes elements of the known and every day into jarring disarticulations of conventional structures and places in a single frame. This has manifest in the past as more specific themes, such as the environmental impact of industry and the coexistence of multiple cultures and histories.

Thematically, this work emerges from the impossibility of ever fully understanding the “other’s” experience; this is the fundamental metaphor that governs Vidal’s visual empathy. Envisioning our diversity as a positive divergence that can lead at times to common and shared experience, a brief respite of cohesion in an otherwise endlessly divided world, Vidal reminds us of the endless potential of altering our vantage points.


Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, September 15, 2018
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Benjamin Garcia – Panacea | Project Room

September 15, 2018 – October 6, 2018

Benjamin Garcia
Panacea (Project Room)

Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace Project Room is Panacea, featuring new works by Venezuelan artist Benjamin Garcia. Fascinated by the psychological fracture of the individual and the competing impulses at work in any single identity, Garcia’s painterly style is emotive and gestural.

His works reveal the figurative subject in a state of transformation or becoming. These are discrete moments of revelation expressed in the shifting and itinerant quality of the artist’s paint application, dynamic psychological portraits mitigated by the gestural viscosity of the media. The coexistence of distress and beauty shape Garcia’s works with an undeniable pathos; the “Panacea” in this case appears to be the healing work of paint itself, and the emotive and universalizing outlet it provides in a time of factious disorder.

Inspired by great illustrators like Jean Giraud, aka. Moebius and Bill Sienkiewicz of Marvel Comics’ fame, the corpulent, fleshy contemporary figurative painting of Jenny Saville, the illustrations and graphic novels of Kent Williams, and the darkly works of preeminent portraitist Lucian Freud, Garcia’s inspiration comes from all visual domains, from both “high” and populist expressions of figuration.

Combining moments of chaos in his work with the tempered control of composition, Garcia slides in and out of affective extremes. At one side, governed by impulses of ecstatic joy and sensuality, and on the other, foiled by the spectrum’s opposing impulses of anxiety and violence. The coexistence of these oppositions, articulated in the representation of the body as a tangible vehicle for the psyche, feel both relatable and seductive, beautifully powerful and inexplicably unhinged.


Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, September 15, 2018
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Interview with Benjamin Garcia for “Panacea”

We’re excited to show Venezuelan artist, Benjamin Garcia’s newest body of work Panacea in the Thinkspace Project Room. Garcia’s emotive and gestural painterly style allows him to create figurative subjects in a state of transformation or becoming. In anticipation of Panacea, we have an interview with Benjamina Garcia discussing dreams, his creative process, and artist toolbox.

SH: How do you approach developing a new body of work? Were there specific themes or techniques you wanted to explore in Panacea?

BG: Well, the development of this particular body of work was a kind of revision of old themes and ways of working and also experimentation with new ways and trying to combine them. I’m always on the search for a kind of balance between the completely figurative and planned aspects of painting and the emotional and primitive approach to abstraction and freedom. The perfect combination of this two aspects eludes me still but in a way, there has been sizeable progress towards discovering some facets of it.

The themes and symbols of the paintings really came to me subconsciously. I believe a big inspiration for most of it is the sense of isolation that comes from being stranded out of the country I grew up in and the sense of loss that comes with having to escape dictatorship separating from friends and family. The horrors of loss and the pain of seeing basically the worst of human nature in a sort of 1984/Soviet Union style. The real deconstruction of the basis of society is something that when experienced permeates your work whether you want it or not because it makes you question reality itself. I really did not intend for it to be about that but I can feel a taste of those emotions in the paintings.

SH: Is there a particular piece in this exhibition you feel really challenged you? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece?

BG: There is: Dia Secreto. It was a really difficult piece for me to develop because the compositional aspects are really complicated and also it took me like a month to plan. Really got into trying to paint this regular scene like really bucolic but then there is something mysterious that happens in that story. Also, it was really difficult for me to execute.

SH: How do you plan out your compositions? Where do you source inspiration?

BG: I start looking for inspiration in movies or photography, magazines, video clips. I´m always being bombarded by stimulus from all sources and an amalgam of all of it is what basically gets painted. I try not to have a preconceived idea of what I want. I like to see it done and then go back and try to figure out what it means.

SH: What excites you about your work / creative process?

BG: Basically what really excites me is to get out of my confront zone all the time. To try to develop and discover how my basic pictorial language grows.

SH: What frustrates you about your work / creative process?

BG: Not connecting emotionally sometimes with the subject matter. And get stuck in trying to figure out the next steps trying to not play it safe.

SH: What’s in your toolbox? AKA what paints, brushes, tools would we find in your studio? What do you wish was in your studio?

BG: I wish I had more people in the studio. I sometimes go paint with friends in a shared space. But my main studio is kind of lonely. Also, I paint with the cheapest brushes, I spend more on the canvas and paints mainly but I think I´ve never painted with an expensive brush in all my life.

SH: After a show what do you do? Do you take a long break, vacation, a particular ritual? Tell us.

BG: After a show, I try to take it easy a couple of weeks and just draw and be in like a free space outside the studio to then get right back into it.

SH: What is an aspect of other’s artwork that really excites you, what are you drawn too?

BG: I really love the freedom in the strokes of Jenny Saville. Also, I love the complex social scenes of Kerry James Marshall.

SH: Has there been someone or some event that has made a significant impact on you that lead you to where you are now? An artistic catalyst of sorts?

BG: Well, there is my brother Lucas. He is a real inspiration to me. He is a writer and illustrator. As he is my big brother I always look up to him and always thought it was possible for me to live being an artist because I saw him thrive.

SH: In a past interview you expressed your brushstrokes are a way of capturing your unique dream, “I can never focus my attention on more than one item at a time and sometimes it’s all fuzzy and disjointed, I want my paintings to be a bit of a window into that state.” As a person who remembers their dreams, can you share with us one that has a particularly interesting through-line you might remember?

BG: In dreams, one always see things in a sort of blurry way. And always everything is skipping like a broken record and scenes juxtapose in time. People are at one time one person and then other people. Reality is never still in dreams. I had a dream the other day where I was speaking with Bill Murray and also he was my father. Both persons at the same time. A dream character who is two people at the same time is something I can’t wrap my head around. Is more like the meaning of a character what you really interact within a dream. He was speaking to me about what it means to be an adult and have a family while we walked on the water of a river like Jesus.

SH: You have a time machine, and you could do anything / go anywhere for 24 hours, and would not interfere with the space-time continuum. What would you do?

BG: I would go to the beginning of time and see if there is such a thing and come back with the answer and possibly freak everyone out.