THE NEW VANGUARD II at The Lancaster Museum of Art and History // October 20th – December 30th

THE NEW VANGUARD II
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, Skewville, 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 work that explores 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 showcasing large-scale sculptural works for the first time including three massive portrait based reliefs alongside three life-sized, hand-painted busts complementing some of her largest two-dimensional acrylic on canvas works.

Seth Armstrong | Lil’ Baja’s Last Ride
Los Angeles-based painter Seth Armstrong creates paintings that arrest a sense of time. Some offer expansive views and others a contracted intimacy, moving freely in and out of public and private spaces to create intersecting narratives. Known for paintings that self-consciously capture the act of looking – whether as a voyeur in trespass or a participant in the landscape – Armstrong apprehends the simultaneity of the city as a place of endless, contingent narratives, jarring interruptions, and suspenseful pauses.

In Lil’ Baja’s Last Ride, the artist presents a sequential vignette of over ten new paintings in which his own car becomes an unlikely protagonist. His immersive approach to his subject matter often produces anecdotal adjuncts. Following several pilgrimages into the landscape between his home in LA and Lancaster for the exhibition, a route, incidentally, which also happens to have personal childhood significance for the artist, Armstrong’s beloved beater and proverbial instrument of research, ‘Lil’ Baja,’ caught fire and was partially incinerated in the museum’s parking lot. The overarching narrative structure of the works feels ambiguously suspended somewhere between fiction, social realism, and personal history. In an ending befitting Armstrong’s own penchant for cinematic turns, poetic hooks, and absurd knacks, Lil’ Baja’s Last Ride is an unexpected swan song in memoriam to an old friend’s final expedition.

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
www.LancasterMOAH.org

Taking place as part of POW! WOW! Antelope Valley
www.PowWowWorldwide.com

THE NEW VANGUARD II at the LANCASTER MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY Coming This October

THE NEW VANGUARD II
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
www.LancasterMOAH.org

Taking place as part of POW! WOW! Antelope Valley
www.PowWowWorldwide.com

Seth Armstrong Featured on the Huffington Post

Thinkspace Family member Seth Armstrong was recently featured on the Huffington Post in an article highlighting work from the exhibition “Pretty Deep Shit.”  Art critic, Shana Nys Dambolt explores the use of the magic hour and city lights in Armstrong’s voyeuristic compositions.  Read the full piece on Huffington Post’s website.

We’re excited to continue showing new works from Seth Armstrong until the end of 2017, with pieces currently one view at LAX/ JFK and more coming up in December when we head to Miami.

To see all available work from Seth Armstrong, please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

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 Seth Armstrong for “Pretty Deep Shit”

Thinkspace is proud to present Seth Armstrong’s latest body of work ‘Pretty Deep Shitin our main room. Armstrong, a Los Angeles native, and based artist uses oil paints to capture the paused observation, catching a scene one might not be meant to be a witness.  In anticipation of Armstrong’s upcoming exhibition with us, we have an exclusive interview with Seth Armstrong to discuss his feelings about Los Angeles, a day in the studio, and how he pushes him to grow as an artist.

Pretty Deep Shit’s opening reception is from 6 – 9 pm this coming Saturday, April 29th in our main room

SH: What inspired your latest body of work?
SA: My personal life, basically. I’m looking at the artwork right now and it’s a map of where I spend my time and people I know. I can think it’s more complicated than that when I’m doing it, but sitting here now when it’s done, that’s how it looks.

SH: What is your favorite and least favorite part of LA? What do you think is the most overrated & underrated aspects of living in Los Angeles?
SA: I love the weather, I love the proximity to the ocean, I love my backyard, my parent’s backyard, backyards in general. My least favorite thing is the fact that I only see my friends on the Westside once a year.

SH: Do you imagine the people within your painting have connected story lines? Or are the all independent from each other?
SA: I like to think that they’re all related.

SH: How do you challenge yourself to grow and progress as an artist?
SA: I try not to paint the same thing too often. I feel like there are some aesthetic qualities that my paintings share, of course, but I don’t want to have a gimmick.

SH: What are your three favorite colors?
SA: Red, Yellow, and Blue.

SH: If you were to collaborate with any artists dead or alive, who would it be and why?
SA: Does Ben Franklin count as an artist? David Hockney, Edward Hopper, and Ben Franklin.

SH: What do you enjoy using oils over other mediums?
SA: I like their unpredictability. I never know quite what I’m gonna get, which is challenging and fun.

SH: Can you walk us through what a day in the studio might look like?
SA: My dog wakes me up by dropping toys on my face. I take her somewhere and get coffee. I come home, eat breakfast, answer emails and bullshit. Hopefully, by 11 or noon I’m painting. I paint until dinner time, take a break for an hour or two, then I’m back in the studio for another few hours at least.

SH: What excites you about other artists work?
SA: I like seeing the process within the finished piece. I like seeing the evidence of the work put in. And I like texture.

SH: If you work was translated into a cocktail what would it be made out of and taste like?
SA: Half coffee, half beer.