Opening Reception of SWANK at Thinkspace Gallery

The opening reception of Swank on September 2nd debuted nine artists from the gallery’s roster, whose work and recognition are on the rise. Each brings their own unique stylistic and technical approach to their practice, and though they share loose affinities, the grouping demonstrates the diversity and latitude of the New Contemporary Movement. Michael Reeder, David Rice, Tran Nguyen, Wiley Wallace, Molly Gruninger, Alex Garant, Sean Norvet, Christopher Konecki, and Lauren Brevner were curated by the gallery for this exhibition as promising new voices to watch on their ascent.

 Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website to view available work from SWANK,

Next Up at Thinkspace Gallery – “Swank” September 2 – 23, 2017

SWANK
GROUP SHOW
September 2 – September 23, 2017

Thinkspace is pleased to present Swank, a group show dedicated to showcasing nine artists from the gallery’s roster, whose work and recognition are on the rise. Each brings their own unique stylistic and technical approach to their practice, and though they share loose affinities, the grouping demonstrates the diversity and latitude of the New Contemporary Movement. Michael Reeder, David Rice, Tran Nguyen, Wiley Wallace, Molly Gruninger, Alex Garant, Sean Norvet, Christopher Konecki, and Lauren Brevner were curated by the gallery for this exhibition as promising new voices to watch on their ascent. Michael Reeder

Michael Reeder
Dallas-based painter Michael Reeder graduated with a BFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York and works as both a fine artist and freelance graphic artist. Reeder combines figurative references with abstract motifs, graphic patterns, negative space, and an illustrative style to create concise and impactful compositions. Exploring the shifting of identities and the instability of the self as central themes, Reeder uses the portraiture element in his work as an armature around which visual signifiers are hung. The paintings begin with the same reference image of a stranger, rather than a particular individual, to emphasize the general universality of the themes, and to stress the alterable and transfiguring aspects of the human in flux. Reeder taps into a feeling of dislocation and absence as a trope for the volatility of the individual caught in the incoherence and discontinuity of the modern day. Psychologically provocative, Reeder’s paintings are thoughtful deconstructions of the fragmented self.

David Rice
David Rice is a Portland-based artist, illustrator, and designer. Having grown up in rural Colorado, Rice is deeply inspired by nature and its wildlife. The natural world figures prominently as a recurring theme in his detailed works, as he combines the human with the animal in playful and unexpected encounters. By individuating his animals as personified subjects rather than undifferentiated specimens, they take on new symbolic and narrative value as extended metaphors. Geometric patterns and graphic motifs are drawn from textiles and other decorative elements to tie his compositions together. These elements punctuate his works with moments of abstraction while also referencing contained, domestic human spaces in stark contrast to the limitlessness of the wild.

Tran Nguyen
Born in Vietnam, Tran Nguyen emigrated to the US with her family at the age of three. She completed a BFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Interested in exploring the psychologically evocative potential of the surreal, she channels visual dreamscapes as a therapeutic means of investigating the mind’s potential to heal through imagery. Her practice is drawing-based with graphite and pencil figuring prominently in her works on panel as well as on paper. Delicate and softly diffused, highly detailed figurative elements in the works are set against expanses of vaguely defined space. Playing with shifts in scale and context, Nguyen allows her powers of free association to shape and turn her shadowy worlds.

Wiley Wallace
Wiley Wallace completed a BFA in intermedia arts at Arizona State University and an MFA from University of California, Santa Barbara. A painter with a metaphysical interest in surreal worlds and pseudo-science fiction themes, Wallace often depicts his own children as protagonists on the edge of unknown universes. At times eerie and even grotesque and others understated and subtle, his works combine a dizzying array of visual devices to denote suspension, transition, or immersion in alternate realities. At times realistic depictions deliquesce into abstract blurs of bright colors, while at others subtle apparitions make their way into otherwise unassuming everyday scenes. His ambiguous depictions feel like personal meditations on mortality, the existence, and dissolution of boundaries, and the presence, whether literal or philosophical, of worlds beyond.

Molly Gruninger
A graduate of Ball State University, Los Angeles-based Molly Gruninger is interested in exploring themes like camouflage, the contemporary role of technology in our society, identity, and the shifting nature of perception. At first glance, excessively smooth and dimensionally ambiguous, her figurative works appear to be digitally generated. Upon closer inspection, however, they are in fact highly detailed oil paintings on canvas. Exploring the idea of self-ornamentation, and by proxy the excessive nature of materialism and consumption in contemporary society, Gruninger pushes the artificiality of self-adornment to a literal point of complete synthetic conversion. In a compelling inversion of process, Gruninger creates photorealistic depictions of a seemingly digitally generated form, creating a subject that exists in some strange hyper-real limbo.

Alex Garant
Toronto-based artist Alex Garant creates portrait paintings with a combination of hyper-realistic painting techniques and a graphic aesthetic. Garant intends to overwhelm and saturate the viewer’s senses with an optical distortion, creating subjects that seem captured through multiple exposures. Using an alla prima technique in which layers of wet oil paint are applied over top wet under layers and executed in a single sitting, Garant creates hauntingly beautiful figures that seem to actually reverberate with frenetic energy and life, somehow caught off register between temporal dimensions or physical layers of reality.

Sean Norvet
Los Angeles-based artist Sean Norvet attended Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, graduating with a BFA in 2013. His unique take on portraiture relays a chaotic and satirical mash-up of cultural references. Distorting the human anatomy of his subjects to the point of total obliteration, his portraits become grotesque, clever and playful amalgams of skin, random objects, food, detritus, type, and cartoons, all parodying the more abhorrent and absurd aspects of American life. Norvet’s subjects become literal and observational reflections of their context and periphery. It’s as though the person’s face, identity, and corporeality are engulfed and consumed by the culture in which they’re immersed. Combining a photo-realistic painting technique with an excessively cartoonish and hyperbolic artificiality, Norvet seizes the viewer in a hallucinogenic distortion of portraiture.

Christopher Konecki
Sand Diego-based Christopher Konecki is a self-taught painter, muralist, sculptor, and installation artist. Drawing inspiration from his surrounding environment and an experimental penchant for the creation of new forms, Konecki creates works that harness a feeling of stylistic chaos and strategic balance. Interested in the reuse of found materials, he revitalizes public spaces and castaway objects to elevate them aesthetically and change the perception of their value. Natural imagery figures prominently in Konecki’s work as he explores the intersection of urban manmade spaces and architectures and the ubiquitous prevalence of technology alongside disproportionately scaled wildlife elements. This juxtaposition of worlds highlights their conflicted coexistence in the modern city and the absurdity of their tangential relationships. His palettes are often cool and subdued, an understated stylistic choice that refocuses attention on the dynamic interaction of the compositions’ disparate facets, and synergy of its parts.

Lauren Brevner
Vancouver-based artist Lauren Brevner explores the feminine in her mixed media portraiture. Using oil, acrylic, and resin, she incorporates Japanese chiyogami, yuzen, and washi papers through collage as well as gold and silver leafing, both traditional Japanese techniques, as an homage to her roots. In 2009, she moved to Osaka, Japan, to reconnect with her cultural heritage and ancestry, and this immersion has had a significant impact on her artwork. Inspired by 19th-century Japanese art, as well as Western European Art Nouveau and Symbolist painting of the same period, and modern abstraction of the early 20th century, Brevner’s work feels both contemporary and historically referential. Her use of flattened graphic space is offset by the detail of her delicately rendered portraits. Striving to re-appropriate the vantage point of the “gaze,” her work seeks to counter the objectification of the feminine, empowering her subjects as sensual and self-possessed entities.

Tran Nguyen Featured in Beautiful Bizarre

A beautiful flip through of Thinkspace family artist Tran Nguyen’s gorgeous layout in the seventeenth issue of Beautiful Bizzare. Nguyen’s work depicts surreal dreamscapes that are ethereal in nature with illustrative execution. Tran Nguyen’s currently showing a new piece in Flourish at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum and will be exhibiting in Swank in September.

View all available work by Tran Nguyen on the Thinkspace Gallery website.

 

Thinkspace Family on Instagram : 4

On Instagram, you will always find us posting sneak peeks, studio shots, and the work of our Thinkspace family from around the world. Follow the accounts of those artists and you’ll get a sneak peek into their lives and creative process. To continue our series, Thinkspace Family on Instagram, here are the accounts of a few artists who are currently hanging in our Littletopia LA Art Show booth. The Instagram accounts below are in the following order;  Stephanie Buer, Seth Armstrong, Tran Nguyen, Jim Houser, Carl Cashman. To view more of each artist’s Instagram account click their username next to the profile picture.

Wiggly weeds 🌾

A photo posted by Stephanie Buer (@stephanie_buer) on

WIP for an upcoming #StarWars tribute show at Gallery Nucleus. #trannguyen #mynameistran

A photo posted by Tran Nguyen (@mynameistran) on

making a painting for his new room . that’s our house . the pointiest house in town . A photo posted by jim houser (@misterhouser) on

Tidy workspace, tidy mind.. Or something like that #carlcashman #mooseyart #thesunshinesoutofmyarts

A photo posted by Carl cashman (@carlcashman) on

Congratulations to Tran Nguyen on her Spectrum Award Win!

Tran Nguyen Distressed Damsal

‘A Distressed Damsel’ by Tran Nguyen

Congrats to Thinkspace family member Tran Nguyen on her recent win at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Awards in Kansas City, Missouri on May 23rd.

The work ‘A Distressed Damsel’ (as seen above) earned Tran yet another gold award.

There is significance in both being nominated and in winning a Spectrum award. It serves as a recognition of achievement that is made even more significant when it comes from a jury of their peers.

This award winning piece from Tran is still available through Thinkpace Gallery. All of our currently available work from Tran can be viewed on our website.

Learn more about Spectrum at http://spectrumfantasticart.com

Tran speaking at Spectrum

Tran with Spectrum award

New print from Tran Nguyen now available from Thinkspace

Thinkspace is happy to announce the release of a new giclee print from Tran Nguyen. The image is taken from her recent show “The Synapse Between Here and There” that took place with us this past July.

Tran Nguyen
“Treading Through An Untrimmed Memory”
Edition of 25
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
Giclee print on Museo Portfolio Rag Paper
20″ x 16″ (with an image area of 16 3/4 x 14″)
$100 each (plus s&h)

Order your print here:
www.thinkspacegallery.com/prints.php

Opening night of Tran Nguyen and David Bray at Thinkspace

David Bray with Tran Nguyen on opening night

Thank you to everyone that braved ‘carmageddon’ earlier this month for the opening of Tran Nguyen and David Bray‘s new exhibits. We had a nice and full house throughout the evening and both artists thoroughly enjoyed themselves with their new works being very well received. It was great to see the showing of support across the board with several local artists out including the likes of Nathan DeYoung, Mia, DABS and MYLA, Ewelina Ferusso, Ana Bagayan, Melissa Haslam, Euth, and Jason Shawn Alexander.

Take a look at the full set of opening night photos here:
www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157627228840296/

Tran Nguyen's 'The Synapse Between Here and There' on view in our main gallery

Tran Nguyen ‘The Synapse Between Here and There’

Take a look at the works from Tran’s show here:
www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/07/works.php

David Bray's 'Return Of Bad Wisdom' in our project room

David Bray ‘Return of Bad Wisdom’

Take a look at the works from Bray’s show here:
www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/07/project/works.php

Both exhibits on view through August 6th

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA / www.thinkspacegallery.com