New work by Seth Armstrong in “The Air is Thick” on view March 28, 2015 to April 18, 2015.
Opening Reception with artists on hand:
Saturday, March 28th 6-9PM
Thinkspace is pleased to present The Air is Thick featuring new works by Los Angeles based artist Seth Armstrong. 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. Surfeited with this palpable sense of permanent anticipation and arrest, the air is indeed thick enough to cut.
Originally from Los Angeles, Armstrong studied painting in Northern Holland and completed a BFA at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts. His deft handling of oil paint clearly demonstrates a facility inspired by traditional painting techniques, and a material aptitude for the dense capture of light and color. The intense realism of his style is often tempered by a looser, more painterly approach, and by a stylized handling of light and dimension. With viscous luminosity and substantive flesh, qualities achieved with a seamlessly clean application, his works feel heavy with tactility and dense with tangible space and body. Armstrong’s use of stark saturated contrasts is offset by a tendency towards stylized hyper-color, creating both depth and edge that exceeds the muted tones of the real. These contrasts achieve a sense of brooding visual tension that manages to evoke both nostalgia and strangeness simultaneously.
In The Air is Thick, Armstrong continues to explore themes that have consistently fascinated his output: the intrigue of illicit looking, and the fine line between intimacy and trespass. Just as cinema manages to satisfy our innate love of voyeuristic access, so too do the paintings offer us views onto private lives that both frustrate and satisfy. The suggestion of constant narrative pervades even the stillest and least active views, as Armstrong reminds us of the secret recesses behind all closed doors and all quiet faces.
Hi-Fructose just interviewed Seth Armstrong as he prepares to open up his new solo show this evening at Gallery Heist in San Francisco. Better yet, the interview was conducted by fellow Thinkspace family member Brett Amory (who just showed alongside Seth at Thinkspace this past January).
Thank you to everyone that came out this past weekend to the opening night reception for ‘There It Is’ in our main gallery and ‘Happy Valley’ in our project room. With all the galleries in Culver City having their 1st openings of the new season, the streets and galleries in the art district were just packed the whole evening through with art lovers enjoying all the new exhibits on view.
‘There It Is’ features new works from three Oakland, CA based artists that explore the urban aesthetic from distinctly different points of view. From the observational based oil paintings of Brett Amory to the history drenched collage styled oil paintings of Adam Caldwell through to the surreal bent on the world around us as seen through the eyes of oil painter Seth Armstrong, ‘There It Is’ offers up a painterly tour de force that is a great way to kick off our 2011 program.
If you see a work you would like to purchase or inquire about in either of the above previews, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get right back to you with full details.
Both exhibitions open TONIGHT – so please come on through!