Brian Mashburn’s solo exhibition “Origin Stories” is on the horizon with the opening only two weekends away. Mashburn continues to take us through fog-laden landscapes in his new body of work, with compositions that possess details only truly appreciated in person. Until April 7, here is a taste of what is to come from Brian Mashburn.


Brian Mashburn
“Origin Stories”
April 7, 2018 – April 28, 2018

Thinkspace (Los Angeles) – is pleased to present new works by North Carolina-based painter Brian Mashburn in his main gallery debut, Origin Stories. The artist’s meticulously detailed works depict quasi-post-apocalyptic scenes in which the natural and human worlds coexist uncomfortably, the remnants of human industrial development haunting the perimeter of the landscapes it has exploited to stage its expansion. Human beings are conspicuously absent from these works but loom invisibly in architectural vestiges, abandoned monuments, and other harbingers of imperfect progress. In this new body of work, Mashburn’s imagery continues to explore his interest in the natural sciences, canonical philosophy, and history, incorporating subtle references to studied and observed themes. Looking to both the cultural and personal narratives that shape our sense of belonging and ancestry, Mashburn offers a nuanced rumination on the poetic power, and fallibility, of antecedents.

Mashburn’s landscapes conjure elements of a 19th-Century Gothic romanticism, offset by contemporary hyperrealistic rendering and surreal contextual juxtapositions. The worlds he posits are densely clouded, overburdened with skeletal trees, and heavy with fog, while anchored by baneful mountain edges and dramatic craggy peaks. These stylistic mainstays of Mashburn’s landscapes are exaggerated and unspecific; like malefic augurs, they cling to something vaguely familiar but petition enough strangeness to elicit phobic dread. Barren and full, the works prophesize a state of exhausted depletion, where nature’s resilience and the effects of unchecked human hubris stand still in an uneasy moment of detente.

The fog-laden vistas for which Mashburn is known are inspired by both the Appalachian Smokey Mountains of Asheville North Carolina, where the artist resides, and his extensive travels throughout the densely overpopulated and polluted areas of Southeastern China where the atmospheric cast is thick with smog. Inspired by his American-Asian heritage, Mashburn incorporates loose stylistic references to historical Chinese ink wash painting, crediting his meticulous work ethic to early scholastic experiences in Chinese character classes. An aggregate of nebulous influences, his works are drawn from this personal heritage, daily observations, an interest in critical theory, and the recent ubiquity of ominous politics and doomsday news. His dystopian landscapes border on the allegorical and suggest a post-cultural world in which eroded edges have failed to contain the entropic threat of chaos.

Technically impressive, Mashburn’s works are composed and minutely detailed. Obsessed with the optics of close proximity, the works hold tight even when examined with little to no distance, unlike more gestural styles that tend to loosen when viewed up close. Working on several pieces in tandem at any given time, the artist achieves the density and surface quality through the application of multiple layers of oil, each sediment dried before the accretion of the next.
Expertly controlled, the works are held together by this burden of detail, an ironic counterpoint to the thematic deterioration they capture.

In an era of rampant and environmentally untenable growth – one that attests to a profusion of consumption and use that now seems in overt defiance of any over worn and anachronistic ideal of ‘progress’ – Mashburn’s Origin Stories looks to the source of beginnings from the vantage point of ends.

Opening Reception for Seth Armstrong’s ‘Pretty Deep Shit’ & Brian Mashburns ‘ Axiom’

We closed out April with new exhibitions from Seth Armstrong and Brian Mashburn that drew in quite the Saturday night art crowd. Armstrong’s ‘Pretty Deep Shit’ debuted a new body of work that was a love letter to the golden hour and shimmering night lights of Los Angeles. Rich saturated colors and voyeuristic details, Armstrong’s work is truly some that must be seen in person to fully appreciate the sometimes literal cheekiness of his pieces.

In the project room Mashburn’s ‘Axiom’ debuted a new body of work that was inspired by the current political climate and environmental concerns. He continues to take us on a tour of this other world where the clouds are thick and the mountains far in the distance.

Get to know the artists better in our interviews with Brian Mashburn and Seth Armstrong.

Available work from ‘Pretty Deep Shit’ and ‘Axiom’ can be viewed on the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Interview with Brian Mashburn for ‘Axiom’

Thinkspace is proud to present Brian Mashburn‘s latest body of work ‘Axiomin our project room. Mashburn, an Ashville-based artist, creates detailed oils painting of smoky landscapes where nature finds it way to prevail amongst a desolate industrialized world.  In anticipation of Mashburn’s upcoming exhibition with us, we have an exclusive interview with Brian Mashburn to discuss his creative process, a day in the studio, and a perfect day in Asheville.

Axioms opening reception is from 6 – 9 pm this coming Saturday, April 29th in our main room

SH: What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work?
BM: For the most part it’s in response to our ongoing political situation and various other social and environmental concerns.

SH: The mountains seem to be more looming and ominous compared to past work, is this a progression or our projection?
BM: Maybe a little of both. I’m pretty fond of traditional Chinese landscape painting, earlier works from the Song and Yuan dynasties in particular. Some of the recent thematic and compositional cues have certainly come from that influence, which includes more prominent mountains. Personally, I don’t see them as necessarily ominous or looming but I understand how they could read as such. For me, the mountains represent either an ideal place or state of mind or serve as an anchor for the composition providing stability and/or depth to the picture.

SH: How do you challenge yourself to grow and evolve as an artist?
BM: I try to stay engaged and curious, earnest and when possible not cynical. I do my best to educate myself on a wide variety of topics both technically and conceptually tangential to my work.

SH: What is your creative process? How much does the outside world influence your work and voice?
BM: Quite a bit, there is a ubiquity about the news these days that is sort of unavoidable and painting can be a good way to process things, a kind of catharsis for sure. For example, the painting called “Great Leap Forward” began as a response to Trump’s proposed border wall and other antics from this administration. It got me thinking about examples from history in which a brutish solution failed to address a nuanced problem. The historic Great Leap Forward was Mao Zedong’s campaign to force China from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. A particularly insidious part was the mandate to kill all Eurasian tree sparrows and rats in China in an effort to boost grain production for export. I guess the thinking was the fewer grain-eating sparrows there were the larger the harvest and subsequent export business would be. The plan failed but not before creating an ecological catastrophe that greatly exacerbated the Great Chinese Famine. Scattered throughout the painting are several references to Mao’s rise to power and looking on are 3 tree sparrows and a rat.

SH: Can you walk us through what a day in the studio looks like?
BM: I wake up around 6 or 7 most days then have my coffee and read until 8 or 9. The rest of the morning I try and focus on the things that are either more difficult or less appealing, things that I will dread doing until I get them out of the way. The afternoon usually finds me down some rabbit hole either in a painting or doing research. I’ll take an occasional break to play with the dog or go for a walk. I try and finish up around 8.

SH: What do you enjoy doing when not painting? What would be a perfect day in Asheville?
BM: I like to hike. I also watch birds. Asheville is a great town for both. There is a scenic route called the Blue Ridge Parkway nearby, it’s sort of like our version of the PCH. It closes in the winter whenever there is snow or ice. On those days I try and get up to the parkway early in the morning and walk the closed road. Those are pretty ideal days in Asheville.

SH: If you were to collaborate with any artists dead or alive, who would it be and why?
BM: It would be cool to work on a mural with Thomas Hart Benton, I think our approaches would be similar and I would learn a great deal.

SH: What excites you about other artists work?
BM: That’s hard to say, I appreciate nuance, integrity, and technical proficiency but those things may or may not generate excitement. There is something about the immediacy of visual art that produces a sensory experience separate from critical thinking.

SH: Are you a binge-watcher/listener? If so, what’s been your latest addition?
BM: Yes, I listen to podcasts and audiobooks compulsively. I binged S-Town twice the first week it came out and recently ran across The Atlantic’s feed on Soundcloud. Recent audiobooks include Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Them by Jon Ronson, and The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker.

SH: If your work was translated into a cocktail what would it be made out of and taste like?
BM: Bourbon, neat.


Brian Mashburn’s “Axiom” opening April 29th

Brian Mashburn
April 29 – May 20, 2017

Concurrently on view in Thinkspace’s project room are new works by Brian Mashburn in Axiom. Based in Asheville North Carolina, Mashburn creates phenomenally detailed oil paintings of foggy landscapes, in which remnants of the natural world exist uneasily alongside evidence of its all but complete industrialization.

Dark and brooding, the stylized moodiness of Mashburn’s work is inspired by the foggy mountains of Appalachia and the heavy, opaque smogs that descend upon Hong Kong and parts of Southeastern China. Like a tangible veil, the gray film is itself a dark harbinger of the destructive forces of industry. Mashburn’s landscapes are indistinct and seemingly sooty vistas, where spires of human architectures and crags of rocky mountains carve out its backgrounds. Darkly and otherworldly, they share similarities with the tradition of 19th-century gothic landscape and its championing of all things eerie, though they feel distinctly contemporary and surreal in their free mixing of historical and cultural references, architectures, and animals.

Mashburn depicts hyper-realistically rendered wildlife in his foregrounds, often posited in stark contrast to the vaporous looseness of the distances. Whether an owl, buffalo, dog, or elephant, the individual isolation of the creature, its contextual disjointedness, and abrupt displacement, when found in the midst of this caliginous world, is jarring and ominous, particularly when set against the traces of human development which are all too apparent in the beyond. These paintings read as narrative fragments, suggesting a larger story beyond the frame – alluded to but never fully disclosed. Vaguely post-apocalyptic, and beautifully thick with foreboding, they show both the vulnerability and resilience of the natural world in spite of human intervention and “progress.”

Thinkspace at Scope Miami Beach 2016


Look for Thinkspace near the fair’s main entrance at booth F05, bringing the heat with mini solo shows from Cinta Vidal and David Cooley + new bodies of work from Alex Yanes / Alexis Diaz / Brian Mashburn / Brian M. Viveros / Glennray Tutor / Jean Labourdette (aka Turf One) / Josh Keyes & Sergio Garcia + our wall of sixty 12×12 inch works from our family of internationally renowned artists.
12×12 group show:
Aaron Li-Hill
Adam Caldwell
Alex Garant
Amy Sol
Carl Cashman
Chie Yoshii
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
Dan Lydersen
Dan-ah Kim
Daniel Bilodeau
David Rice
Derek Gores
Erik Siador
Frank Gonzales
Glenn Arthur
Henrik Aa. Uldalen
Icy and Sot
James Bullough
James Reka
Jana & JS
Jeremy Hush
Jolene Lai
Josie Morway
Juan Travieso
Kari-Lise Alexander
Kelly Vivanco
Ki Sung Koh
Kyle Stewart
Linnea Strid
Lisa Ericson
Liz Brizzi
Low Bros
Luke O’Sullivan
Lunar New Year
Mando Marie
Marco Mazzoni
Martin Whatson
Mary Iverson
Matt Linares
Matthew Grabelsky
Michael Reeder
Mike Egan
Pam Glew
Rodrigo Luff
Scott Listfield
Scott Radke
Sean Mahan
Sean Norvet
Tony Philipppou
Wiley Wallace
Yosuke Ueno
Platinum First View:

Tuesday November 29, 12pm-4pm

VIP & Press Preview:
Tuesday November 29, 4pm-8pm
General Admission:

Wednesday November 30 – Sunday December 4, 11am-8pm

Taking place on Miami Beach at Ocean & 8th


Opening Reception of Nosego ‘Along Infinite River’ and Brian Mashburn ‘Witness’ exhibitions

along infinite river

Saturday, July 18th, Thinkspace Gallery hosted an opening reception for Nosego’s “Along Infinite River” and Brian Mashburn’s “Witness”, along with new works by Drew Leshko in the office. We released three prints that night, one from Brian Mashburn and two from Nosego that will be available on in the next few days. Please follow Thinkspace Gallery’s social media sites for updates. The new exhibitions will be on view till August 8th.

nosego mural

nosego main room

nosego hand

Nosego infront of piece

brian mashburn infront of work

brain mashburn flamingo

brian mashburn print

photo of a painting

black book nosego

observing work

thinkspace room

david and drew

thinkspace family