This coming November marks our 5 Year Anniversary here at Thinkspace. To help celebrate we started a series of ‘Flashback’ posts a while ago highlighting some of the great shows that have helped to establish our gallery and the artists we work with. In case you missed them, you can view Flashback part 1 here and Flashback part 2 here, so be sure to check those out and see pictures from some of landmark shows we held in 2005 and 2006 from the likes of Natalia Fabia, Lola, Chet Zar, Yoskay Yamamoto, Audrey Kawasaki, Ekundayo, Blaine Fontana, and many others.
We stormed into 2007 with the debut Los Angeles solo show from Lola. This show followed her sold-out exhibition from the year prior where we had paired her with the one and only Chet Zar. ‘The Rememberlings’ was a magical show on so many levels and really helped to establish Lola as one of the leading voices in the new contemporary movement.
Lola ‘The Rememberlings’ opening night:
One of the first shows to take place in the newly renovated project room at our old Silver Lake location was the debut solo show from Johnny ‘KMNDZ’ Rodriguez. Johnny really blew us all away with his new paintings and the depth of emotion found within each. The resulting wall mural that Johnny painted really tied all the works in the show together in a stunning fashion. Before the exhibit even opened we knew he was going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come and once the show did open, it was obvious many agreed with us as works flew off the wall during the opening reception.
Johnny ‘KMNDZ’ Rodriguez solo opening night:
‘Behind Bedroom Doors’ helped to launch two of the new contemporary movements most exciting portrait artists. The show featured the first major grouping of works from Sylvia Ji and Joshua Petker. This special pairing saw each artist painting the beautiful ladies from GodsGirls.com. The resulting opening reception featured many of the ladies from GodsGirls.com on hand to pose alongside their portraits for the throngs of adoring fans and press to soak in… little did we know or ever expect that about half way through the evening a lil’ impromptu ‘photo shoot’ developed in our front entry installation area with some of the Gods Girls that had patrons clamoring to get their cameras out as quickly as possible. To say pics from that ‘shoot’ would not be safe/proper to post here is an understatement. Only in Los Angeles folks! To this day, still one of the wildest shows we’ve ever hosted.
Sylvia Ji & Joshua Petker opening night:
‘Picks Of The Harvest Batch IV’ was up next. 122 artists. 21 States. 10 Countries. Over 300 works of art. A huge write up in the Los Angeles Times. Installations in the Front Room by John Michael Gill & Sophia Pottish as well as installations in the Main Gallery by Derek Weisberg & Matt Burlingame. This exhibition was a serious art overload and one that we won’t be attempting again anytime soon, yet was such an amazing beast to be a part of. Fond memories from putting this one together.
‘Picks of the Harvest: Batch IV’ opening night:
‘Smitten’ was by far our biggest exhibition to date at the time. This special show brought together the amazing talents of Audrey Kawasaki, Amy Sol, Stella Im Hultberg, KuKula, and Brandi Milne in a show that many still talk about to this day. The energy the show created was palpable and all that attended knew they were witnessing a special grouping of talent that would likely never come about again. The accompanying print set has since become a very cherished item amongst collectors. Each day this show was open throughout the month we had folks waiting to get in. The scope of these five amazing talents continues to inspire and enthrall their ever-growing legion of fans.
‘Smitten’ opening night:
‘Interlaced’ was Ekundayo’s first solo show and we were so honored to have been able to host it for him. We’ve worked with him since almost day one as he came up through Cannibal Flower and then showed at The Art Annex off Melrose before it morphed into Thinkspace shortly after opening. Dayo was in our 1st group show back in November of 2005 and we’ve been watching him grow and prosper ever since. The installation and mural that Ekundayo pulled out for this show were game changers. So many were in awe upon arriving that night. From the massive mural that adorned the front of our gallery through to the mural inside the entry area that greeted our patrons, the exhibition entrenched you in Ekundayo’s world. Upon entering the main hall his vibrant paintings were accented by a life-size sculpture attached to a real ten-speed bike that was suspended from the ceiling inside one of the skylights. To this day it remains one of my favorite installations and I cherish the memories of hanging the bike and chasing after all the supplies with Dayo and his crew.
On view at the same time in our project room was the debut solo show of Andrew Hem, one of Ekundayo’s best friends and one of our favorite artists. He spent just about the whole week in the gallery too working alongside Ekundayo as he painted a vibrant wall mural that helped to create a great environment for his delicate gouache on panel paintings. Their works so perfectly complemented one another, just a great pairing.
Ekundayo with Andrew Hem (project room) – opening night: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157601393100000/
To be able to pair up two of the most imaginative minds in the new contemporary movement was a treat to say the least. The works of Lesley Reppeteaux and Chris Ryniak complemented each other so well and Lesley and Chris were such big fans of each other’s work, that they really pushed each other with this show. The collaborative installation was SO amazing and the sculptures each created to help accent their paintings really helped to make this a show that we fondly look back on.
On top of pairing up two of our favorites, October 2007 also saw the debut Los Angeles solo show from Andy Kehoe in our project room. We were so thrilled to be able to host this show for Andy. We love his work and we’re anxiously awaiting having him back in the summer of 2012. Can’t wait!
Lesley Reppeteaux and Chris Ryniak with Andy Kehoe (project room) – opening night:
2007 came to an end with the ‘Snow Angels’ show that brought together a small grouping of some of our favorite artists. Stella Im Hultberg flew in from NYC to do an installation in our front entry area that really helped to pull the whole show together. We even had a snow machine kicking out front for the evening and to see folks coming in with snow in their hair was a funny site in the heart of LA.
‘Snow Angels’ opening night:
2007 saw us amping up on doing curated shows about town in an effort to further expose the artists we work with. Leading the charge was ‘The Triple Threat Series’ that we put together with Joe Hahn of Linkin Park for his boutique on Melrose, SURU. ‘The Triple Threat Series’ lasted throughout 2007 and brought together some great groupings. First up was 2H, L. Croskey and Tony Philippou. Up next we paired up Caia Koopman, Sarah Joncas and Kelly Vivanco. Following that in September it was all about the ladies yet again with a lineup consisting of Camilla d’Errico, Kelly Haigh and Angelina Wrona. Ending out the series we teamed up Ekundayo, Joshua Clay and Erik Siador to take over the high-end boutique.
Take a look at a few of the SURU shows below:
Nov / Dec show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157603188617750/
July / August show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157600734953116/
We also teamed up with .ISM for their ‘Untitled Love Project’ during 2007. Phases 1-3 were held at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and Phase 4 was held at Thinkspace. The ‘ULP’ featured works from the likes of Amy Sol, Andrew Hem, Audrey Kawasaki, Allison Sommers, Edwin Ushiro, Brian Viveros, Mike Stilkey, Sarah Joncas, Dan-ah Kim, Jesse Hotchkiss, Kelly Vivanco, Kris Lewis, Anthony Clarkson, Camilla d’Errico, Matt Dangler, Matthew Feyld, Timothy Karpinski, KMNDZ, Chris Ryniak, Tony Philippou, and many more. Phase 1-3 were co-curated by myself and Alix Sloan.
In addition to that we hosted special benefit shows for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (which recently came out as the ‘Re:Mission’ book) and for the National Coalition For The Homeless (‘Gimme Shelter’) which featured works on 12×12” pieces of cardboard from the likes of Adam Neate, Dave Kinsey, James ‘Dalek’ Marshall, Scott Musgrove, Anthony Ausgang, Bigfoot, Kid Acne, Tes One, Skullphone, Andrew Pommier, Mars-1, Alex Pardee, and many more
2007 also saw us curate our first show outside of California. We partnered with DvA Gallery, one of the leading galleries in the Midwest at the time, to put together ‘Picks of the Harvest: Chicago Invasion’. The exhibition featured work from over 60 artists and helped to further expose the Windy City to the thriving new contemporary movement.
Opening night of ‘Picks of the Harvest: Chicago Invasion’:
2007 was indeed another very important year for us and we can’t thank you all enough for the continued support of our gallery and the artists we aim to expose. Here’s to the next five years!
Check out all the shows from 2007 here: