New screen prints from Ben Tolman available at tonight’s holiday art opening!

‘Flow’ (framed edition $500)
‘0001’ (framed edition $300)

We are excited to share details on two new serigraph print editions from Ben Tolman that will be available at tonight’s opening reception for Unmode from 6-10pm.

BEN TOLMAN
Flow
Silkscreen on handmade paper
Edition of 20
38.25 x 27 inches
Signed and numbered by the artist
$300

Ben’s new prints will be available for in-person sales only starting tonight at 6pm during the opening reception for Unmode.

Any copies remaining after the opening will be shared on our web shop next Wednesday, December 7 at 10am PST. Please note that the prints will NOT ship until the week of January 8, 2023 to avoid any issues with the holiday shipping rush. Thank you.

Sorry, no pre-sales of any kind are available. Thank you.

BEN TOLMAN
0001
Silkscreen on handmade paper
Edition of 20
15 x 20 inches
Signed and numbered by the artist
$100

Ben’s new prints will be available for in-person sales only starting tonight at 6pm during the opening reception for Unmode.

Any copies remaining after the opening will be shared on our web shop next Wednesday, December 7 at 10am PST. Please note that the prints will NOT ship until the week of January 8, 2023 to avoid any issues with the holiday shipping rush. Thank you.

Sorry, no pre-sales of any kind are available. Thank you.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE:
Ben Tolman has also created an incredible collection of small works on paper, each measuring only 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and framed and ready to hang. “Praxis” is a series of 480 unique works on paper that make up the main massive installation for his Unmode solo exhibition this month.

Please click here to view the full “Praxis” collection.

Each work also comes with a corresponding ERC-721 NFT that functions as the certificate of authenticity for each work as an added bonus. The NFT will be air-dropped to each patron once your wallet address has been shared with the artist. Details will follow before the end of the exhibition via e-mail, once you’ve purchased a work from his “Praxis” series.

Thinkspace Monthly IG Charity Auction with Artist Allison Bamcat. Bidding will be live until Monday, November 28th at 5pm PST!

We’re holding an IG auction here to allow one lucky fan the chance to own this original canvas created by @allisonbamcat in our new courtyard this past October 29th during the opening of our late October exhibitions.

Allison has chosen to work with @endthebacklog and 100% of the proceeds of the sale will be donated to End The Backlog.

End The Backlog tracks the progress of all 50 states in enacting laws and policies embracing our six legislative pillars of comprehensive rape kit reform. These are criteria experts have determined are critical elements in eliminating the untested rape kit backlog once and for all.

Allison Bamcat
“Meidi”
Acrylic, acryla gouache and aerosol on canvas
48 x 48 inches / 122 x 122 cm
Signed lower right corner

Bidding will start at $250. Please bid in increments of $25 in the comments below. Bidding will be live until Monday, November 28th at 5pm PST. Winner will be notified over DM and payment will be due by the end of the day on Wednesday, November 30th via PayPal or credit card.

Please Note: Shipping charges will be additional, if the winner is based outside of Los Angeles.

Each month we have a local artist painting live in our courtyard as part of our ongoing ‘Courtyard Sessions’ curated by @goopmassta and each artist will get to choose the charity that their painting’s proceeds will be donated to.

Coming up next Saturday, December 3 we will have BREK @brushwork painting live during the opening of our December exhibitions. Continued thanks to @graphaids for the discount on the canvases.

December Exhibitions featuring Ben Tolman, Hanna Lee Joshi, Nika Mtwana, Carl Cashman & Oscar Joyo Open on December 3rd at Thinkspace Projects

Thinkspace Projects presents:

BEN TOLMANUnmode

HANNA LEE JOSHIWhat Is It You Seek?

NIKA MTWANAProtagonist

CARL CASHMAN & OSCAR JOYOHybrid

Opening Reception:

Saturday, Dec 3, 6-10 pm

DJ, Refreshments, Live Painting and More

On view December 3 – December 31, 2022

True to their commitment to the New Contemporary Art community, Thinkspace Projects rings in the holidays with an exciting lineup of December shows, fun-filled opening night, and a toy drive. With their beautiful expanded space filled with art, they are thrilled to celebrate this milestone year.

In Gallery I, Thinkspace Projects is thrilled to present Ben Tolman’s Unmode. Known for his carefully detailed, architecture based drawings often pointing to social issues, Tolman uses this exhibition to turn his focus inward, examining his creative process directly. Tolman found that the idea of complexity is closely related to creativity. Complexity can be described as a process by which two or more preexisting things are combined to create something new that could not have been previously predicted from the starting point. Creativity can be described the same way with the added element of intent or preference. Drawing on this comparison, he uses a study of black and white two-dimensional shapes to explore the possibilities of creativity. 

In Gallery II, Hanna Lee Joshi’s What is it You Seek? will be on display. The Korean-Canadian explores the search for autonomy within and themes of individuality and how it relates to universal identity. Her vibrant faceless figurative works evoke an ethereal goddess, luminous and full of wonder and yet also deeply human. Drawing on her own lived experience, her work offers a glimpse into synesthetic realms that chart a journey through the inner landscape. With this body of work, she explores the deep seeded longing to know what it is we seek in this lifetime. Touching on unfulfilled desire and uncertainty, Joshi delves into the conscious and unconscious drives that shape our behavior and motivations.

Gallery III will be filled with Nika Mtwana’s Protagonist. This new collection from the South African artist was created to elevate African identity. His paintings explore AfroFuturism, and the resulting work is some of the most unique and instantly recognizable coming out of South Africa at the moment. Protagonist broaches a conversation about culture and identity, bringing personal elements from Mtwana’s life in Johannesburg. 

Gallery IV features Hybrid, the work of both Carl Cashman and Oscar Joyo coexisting in the same space. Cashman’s vibrant neon colored works are best described as a genre he has coined “neometry,” or neon geometry. The works are hypnotic, at times bordering on the hallucinatory, and blur the distinction between digital and analogue forms. Entirely executed by hand, the paintings are crisp, precise and graphically decisive, though clearly hand crafted rather than digitally produced. Joyo’s work is also deeply rooted in color exploration, due in part to his chromesthesia (the ability to see colors when hearing sounds). Thanks to this unique perspective, he uses various color gradients and intergalactic color schemes, paying homage to his Malawian heritage by his use of fun shapes and patterns that breathe life into the paintings. 

All four incredible shows kick off with an opening and holiday party featuring DJs Venice Beats, an open bar, free drinks from Liquid Death, Live Painting from Brek as part of ‘Courtyard Sessions’ curated by GoopMassta, Tamales from The Roll ’N Bun, a Vape bar from Timeless, and Video Projections from Digital Debris. In the holiday spirit, the THINKSPACE TOY DRIVE will be happening all evening! Bring a new wrapped toy and Thinkspace will be giving out books, sticker / button packs and more to all that bring by a toy for a child in need. All toys will be donated to the local Salvation Army Community Corps and then be distributed to underserved children in Southern California, in tandem with Toys for Tots. For those who need to do a bit of their own shopping, GoopMassta will be curating a small artist mart perfect for last minute gift purchases and treating one’s self.

These shows open December 3rd with a reception from 6PM to 10PM. They will remain on view until December 31st at Thinkspace Projects.

About Thinkspace                                

Thinkspace was founded in 2005; now in LA’s thriving West Adams District, the gallery has garnered an international reputation as one of the most active and productive exponents of the New Contemporary Art Movement. Maintaining its founding commitment to the promotion and support of its artists, Thinkspace has steadily expanded its roster and diversified its projects, creating collaborative and institutional opportunities all over the world. Founded in the spirit of forging recognition for young, emerging, and lesser-known talents, the gallery is now home to artists from all over the world, ranging from the emerging, mid-career, and established. 

Though the New Contemporary Art Movement has remained largely unacknowledged by the vetted institutions of the fine art world and its arbiters of ‘high culture,’ the future promises a shift. The Movement’s formative aversion to the establishment is also waning in the wake of its increased visibility, institutional presence, and widespread popularity. Thinkspace has sought to champion and promote the unique breadth of the Movement, creating new opportunities for the presentation of its artists and work. An active advocate for what is now one of the longest extant organized art movements in history, Thinkspace is an established voice for its continued growth and evolution, proving their commitment by expanding its projects beyond Los Angeles, exhibiting with partner galleries and organizations in Berlin, Hong Kong, London, New York City, Detroit, Chicago, and Honolulu among many others, participating in International Art Fairs, and curating New Contemporary content for Museums. Committed to the vision, risk, and exceptional gifts of its artists, the gallery is first and foremost a family. From the streets to the museums, and from the “margins” to the white cube, Thinkspace is re-envisioning what it means to be “institutional.” 

Interview with Huntz Liu for ‘Dissolution’ | Exhibition on view October 29 – November 19, 2022

Thinkspace is excited to present Huntz Liu‘s solo exhibition “Dissolution” in Gallery IV.

Using a straightedge and knife, Huntz Liu cuts and layers paper to expose geometric/abstract compositions. These compositions are made up of shapes that sit on different planes, creating literal depth, while the composition itself creates a perceived depth. It is this intersection of the literal and perceived that informs the work; where the absence of material reveals form and the casting of shadow creates lines. Furthering his work, Liu has incorporated recent study of the collision between imaginary space and real space, playing particularly with shadow.

Our interview with Huntz Liu reveals the curatorial aspect of his creative process, his personal foundation, and the artist’s most recent art adventure.

You have 19 pieces in the show that were carefully selected for this exhibition. How many pieces lay in your studio unfit for showing, and why were they cut?

About 6 pieces were left out. While creating, an evolution occurs in the work that either binds or separates from the theme of the exhibition. The ones that deviate are left out. It’s similar to a musician writing songs for an album. Oftentimes, fully realized and beautiful tracks are left out for not fitting the identity/concept/sound of the album (see: “Ship in a Bottle” left off of Beck’s Sea Change).

You created two figures with faces in this exhibition, Dylan and Joy. Could you provide more insight into what inspired this evolution?

It was a bit cathartic to break from full abstraction with some of the work in this show. I wanted to see what that will open up and what the work will be harbingers of in the future. Interestingly, while creating these pieces, I felt an immediate shift in my relationship with the work and the process. Again, back to music analogies, it felt like adding lyrics/vocals to what has been strictly instrumental music.

“Dylan”
“Joy”

Are there other artists who work with paper that you admire and we should know about?

Kara Walker… Thomas Demand.

What brings you back to your work and studio after an extremely difficult day or streak while working on a piece? Have you ever wanted to throw in the exacto knife?

Haha nice. In these moments, I lean on the routine and discipline that I have built and fostered over the years. They are a good foundation to bury beneath all the reasons to quit and to lay upon all reasons to keep going.

Coffee is pretty essential to your creative process. Do you have a favorite brand and preparation?

My daily driver is Dunkin’ Donuts original blend. My weekend fancy goto is Stumptown beans. Both with a standard drip machine.

Is there a movie, documentary, or book that you feel illustrates and reflects what the creative process feels like for you?

I watched the 1998 Cuaron-directed Great Expectations in the theater when it was released, and it has since been an odd source of insight into the art world and being an artist.

Do you or did you ever find it difficult to refer to yourself as an artist? What does being an artist mean through your personal cultural lens?

“Artist” and “art” are two of the most loaded labels in our lexicon… so, yes, I sometimes find it difficult to refer to myself as an artist, though it’s the easiest word to use. Artists really are just conduits for the work (where the meaning should exist).

You’ve traveled to many places and visited many museums, can you tell us a few of your favorite institutions of art and exhibitions?

I recently traveled to Houston, an underrated city for art. There’s the Menil Collection, which houses a lot of impressive Surrealist work. A standalone building that’s part of the Menil Collection, houses the Cy Twombly Gallery (one of my favorite painters). The Rothko Chapel nearby is Mark Rothko’s magnum opus, where he in a welcomed heavy-handed manner, shows you how he wants his work to be experienced. The new Kinder building at the MFAH is also great, both inside and out.

You’ve shared that you let go of the idea of perfectionism, acknowledging that you need to let go at some point because the space between precise and perfect is infinite. It’s a very philosophical reflection; what has been your biggest insight gathered from this past year? Or a rumination that has become more clear to you over this last year.

I read about “Postel’s Law” in a design book that is actually a principle from software development that states: “be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept.” In a programming context, it essentially means being specific in output but flexible when receiving input (e.g. date & phone number formatting). I have, however, been using it as a loose guiding principle in my life as a reminder to be more intentional and consistent in my actions/work/values, and being more open/accepting of others in whatever capacity they present themselves.

Exhibitions on view October 29 – November 19, 2022

Interview with Abigail Goldman for ‘Instincts and Indulgences’ | Exhibition on view October 29 – November 19, 2022

Thinkspace is pleased to present Abigail Goldman, showing her newest die-o-rama sculptures in her solo exhibition “Instincts and Indulgences” in Gallery III.

Goldman creates intricate die-o-ramas rendered in 1:87 scale. The diminutive size of the works is in contrast to the tableaus of gore and mayhem rendered within. Often both humorous and grotesque, the detailed pieces are a wholly engaging product of Goldman’s life-long fascination with crime and the dark side of the human psyche.

Our interview with Abigail Goldman discusses rage and violence in America, how she jump-starts her motivation to work in the studio after a long day, and a bit of macabre history.

Can you share a little about your background and how you first heard of Thinkspace? 

I was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Bay Area. Today, I live in Washington state, so far north that it’s practically Canada. I work as an investigator for the Federal Public Defender. I have two small kids who are still too young to grasp the messy projects I’m always working on are gory little murders. It will be an interesting detail for their therapists someday. 

I’ve known about Thinkspace for so long that I’m not sure where I first learned of the gallery! But if I had to guess, it was either an art-savvy friend that clued me in or the all-knowing power of Instagram’s algorithm. 

What is the inspiration and themes you were exploring in this latest body of work? Can you share your process for capturing the ideas that lead to these pieces? 

I’m preoccupied with the idea that many of us are privately seething under the surface, and that American culture has become an escalating feedback loop of rage and violence. It’s a frequency running in the background, so omnipresent that violence has essentially become banal. It’s the theme behind this show, and really all my work. I feel successful if I’ve made something both troubling and amusing. For some, maybe there’s a kind of catharsis in it, or a mirror into our collective psyche. Or maybe it’s just plain black humor (which I’d argue occurs as an outlet for that same rage and violence). 

The process for capturing the idea usually starts with me building an empty room or building. Then I slowly fill details to approximate reality while the idea churns in the back of my mind. Typically, by the time I have an unpopulated scene complete, I’ve got the human drama ready to model in my mind. 

What was the most challenging piece in this exhibition? How did it help you grow as an artist?

Ooof – they are all challenging. But if I had to pick, I’d say larger works tend to be the trickiest, just because there’s more that can go wrong. Dieoramas with interior lighting elements are technically difficult, as are dieoramas that show a scene with multiple rooms. I am always striving to increase the complexity and detail, and working in my ultra-small scale, it gets painstaking. But I’m always learning – better supplies, better ways to approximate real life in 1:87 scale, better technique. 

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

Because I have a day job and two kids to keep alive, I now primarily work in the late evening – I call it the night shift. This is also precisely the time you want to lie motionless on their couch and disassociate with doom-scrolling. So, I find that if I start with some mundane, non-creative chore, like cleaning paint brushes or organizing supplies, I can build the momentum I need to tackle bigger projects. The ideas kind of churn in the background. And once I get started, then I invariably stay up too late working in the end. 

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the creative process? 

My favorite part is seeing the narrative of a dieorama come together – all the details that add up in each scene to tell a story or convey a mood. It feels almost cinematic, like pausing a movie at your favorite frame. It’s also extremely fun to meet people at shows and enjoy the instant bond that comes with sharing questionable interests. 

My least favorite part: Photography. Hands down. Effectively capturing extremely tiny things just isn’t easy. Then you add in the glare from reflective plexiglass? Nightmare. I’m on the hunt for a professional photographer, but it’s been a challenge in the small town where I live. 

Did you watch the Angelyne mini-series? What inspired you to create a piece honoring this Los Angeles icon? 

I did not watch the Angelyne series. In fact, it wasn’t until I was searching around for some photos of her billboards that I even learned her story had been made into a show. I had an existing association with her as this very local, very Los Angeles icon. Initially, I was contemplating making a dieorama with the Hollywood sign, but then I realized Angelyne was a better symbol – more of a wink or inside joke. 

What would be your anecdote to violence and rage in America? 

There’s a lot that needs to be done: Education. Intelligent news coverage. Gun control. Taking measures to halt the spread of disinformation online. Increasing wages. Universal health care. Decreasing the cost of college and student debt. More parental leave and affordable childcare. Employers who embrace telecommuting or the 4-day work week. Ending food deserts, corporate tax loopholes, gerrymandering, cash bail, corporate money in politics, three strikes laws and mass incarceration. Cutting military spending, funding early education and taxing billionaires into oblivion. I could go on, but I won’t hold my breath. 

The dioramas transmute violence through absurdity. Why do you think there is a human desire to look (and laugh at) gruesome violence? Do you ever think about where the line is of where it goes from healthy dissociation to unhealthy detachment? 

People like to brush up against death. Or be confronted with the blow of mortality now and again. In 19th century Europe, executioners made a side profit by selling cuts of their used hangman rope to people in the audience. Today, we have entire TV networks dedicated to crime coverage – coverage I contributed to as a former newspaper reporter. Acts of gruesome violence are a direct route to the animal in us, and when the veil gets pulled back, it’s hard to look away. There is absolutely an unhealthy detachment, and it’s metastasizing. We’re no longer completely safe sitting in a movie theater, or sending a kid to school. That’s the background rage again, humming and getting louder. 

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do/ be an expert at?

Languages. Even one additional language would feel like a miracle to me. I’ve tried, but to my great shame, never really surpassed the communication skills of a demanding toddler. 

Photos by Birdman