The New Van Guard II, curated by thinkspace - at MOAH

October 21 - December 30, 2018

Featured Installations:

Andrew Hem

Dan Witz

HOT TEA

Isaac Cordal

Jaune

Laurence Vallieres

Spenser Little


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! 

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

Chevrier 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 a superficial veneer.

In Cages and the Allure of Freedom, her first significant solo museum presentation, Chevrier showcases 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.

Sandra Chevrier is a Montréal-based Canadian artist. Her work has been shown in Canada as well as in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia and in collections in Europe, the United States, Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Russia.

Seth Armstrong - Lil' Baja's Last Ride

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.

Armstrong is a Los Angeles-based painter who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California College of Arts in San Francisco. His paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. He is represented by Thinkspace Projects in Los Angeles, Vertical Gallery in London and Bold Hype Gallery in New York. His work has been featured in international art fairs such as SCOPE and the LA Art Show.

Craig "Skibs: Barker - Suzy is a Surf Rocker

Barker has been immersed in both the punk rock and surf culture of southern California since the early 1980s. His imagery, being informed by the print media and graphics of the subcultural terrain shaping the time period, reflects this upbringing. Influenced and surrounded by punk flyers, album covers, and surfing magazines, Barker began testing his artistic skills by initially making flyers and t-shirts for his punk bands and his friends. Barker’s work explores the junctions between past and present, memory and imagination, fantasy and reality, while creating a dialog between image and viewer.

Barker’s most recent paintings infuse his long-standing love for painting and rendering the human female figure with his punk-fueled graphic design aesthetic. Mixing different approaches, techniques and mediums, he creates a sense of memory, personal history, and appreciation for the female form. Combining elements of pop culture and literary censorship, he creates layered scenes of voyeuristic playfulness. His artworks feel surreal and partial, yielding results of decontextualization. The way Barker frames his figurative subjects, his compositions feel like spontaneously taken polaroids.

Born and raised in Huntington Beach, Barker has been exhibiting installations and his paintings in places such as Long Beach Museum of Art, Thinkspace Projects Los Angeles and was featured at MOAH in 2014. His work has been included in Newbrow and Juxtapoz magazines.

Brooks Salzwedel - Rut in the Soil

Obscuring the boundaries between actual and imagined landscapes, Salzwedel constructs light, delicate and translucent vistas that fluctuate between solid and ethereal states. These assembled works explore the juxtaposition of natural and simulated scenes, bringing together scant terrains and fabricated sierras with hazy atmospheres and primordial vegetation. Eroding woods and frosty, glacial peaks veil repressed settings, evoking a landscape untethered from this reality existing on the periphery of dreams.

Salzwedel continues this series of ghostly, celestial worlds that are suspended indefinitely, the scenes often feel almost real but are undoubtedly conjured from vivid imagination. Salzwedel induces a sense of solitude through ephemeral, surreal fantasies of supernatural scenery using a combination of materials to create his mixed-media works. His drawings are comprised of graphite, mylar and resin, tape, colored pencil and ink.

Salzwedel earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors and distinction at Pasadena Art Center College of Design in 2004. He has been featured in more than 50 blogs and publications and he has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His work has been displayed at renowned museums worldwide, including the Hammer Museum, MOCA, Honolulu Museum of Art and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. Salzwedel was born in Long Beach and works in Los Angeles, California.

The New Vanguard II

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.

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The New Van Guard II, curated by thinkspace - at MOAH