December 7th, 2019 – January 11th, 2020

Open Mind Art Space is pleased to present “Open Space”, featuring sculptures and mixed media works by local Los Angeles artists, Tanya Brodksy, Jamison Carter, Gioj DeMarco, Margaret Griffith, Ashley Hagen, Samuel Jernigan, Thomas Müller, Ruben Ochoa, Noe Olivas, Erika Ostrander, Nicole Seisler and Christian Tedeschi. The exhibition will be held at Backspace, located in Downtown Los Angeles at 1528 E. 17th Street. An opening reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, December 7th, 2019 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM. The exhibition will be on view from December 7th, 2019 through January 11, 2020. A closing reception will be held on Saturday, January 11th, 2020 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Weekly viewing hours will be Thursdays-Saturdays from 1-5pm, or by appointment. The space will be closed for viewing on December 26th and January 2nd.

In “Open Space”, objects are cast, painted, printed, melted, poured, retrofitted, and re-oriented. This formal diversity in material and gesture showcase a current landscape of Los Angeles sculpture that is as flexible as it is rigorous. The subject matters of these works are as diverse as their forms. Reflecting on themes that range from the personal to the global, the artists in “Open Space” explore an object’s potential to provide an empowered response towards timely issues and pressing social, environmental, and political narratives that affect us all. As this exhibition’s name suggests, these artworks celebrate the possibilities of sculpture to materialize a space for communication and reflection. Importantly, Open Mind Art Space is thrilled to partner with Backspace to exhibit these works at a deserving scale.

Tanya Brodsky (b. Kiev, Ukraine) lives and works in Los Angeles. Working primarily in sculpture, Brodsky draws upon urban densities: the proximities and incongruities of structures, objects and bodies. The misuse of objects emerges as a through-line in her work, to reveal the hidden logics and bureaucracies governing each built environment, whether in the Soviet landscape of her childhood, or on the side streets of LA. Brodsky earned her MFA from UC San Diego in 2016, and her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. In 2016, she was a fellow at SOMA Summer Program in Mexico City and in 2013 she participated in the Mountain School of Art. Brodsky’s work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, including a recent solo exhibition at Ochi Projects, Los Angeles. Brodsky’s public artwork Yolki Palki is currently on view in Plummer Park, West Hollywood. She is currently a lecturer at California State University, Northridge.

Jamison Carter (b. 1973, Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. His work includes sculpture, installation, painting, drawing and printmaking. Generally working in various materials in purposefully mediated ways, the current body of work is drawing on the mediation between material and maker, process and intervention. Sculpture is body-sized, or created as a result of his action and need to be physically involved in making the work. Like most, he connects to the physical world through and with his body, so using his physicality to make the work is another layer of energy and tension. Carter has shown widely through out Southern California as well as New York, Miami and Italy. He received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2001 and teaches Sculpture and 3D Design at Los Angeles Valley College. Jamison Carter is represented by Klowden Mann, Culver City, California.

Gioj DeMarco (b. Italy) is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. She works primarily in sculpture, and her practice examines myths and legends of popular culture stemming from religious texts, graphic novels, movies and rap music. Select exhibitions include Brand Library & Art Center, Los Angeles, California, Clubhouse, event venue at Art Basel, Hong Kong, Locust Projects, Miami, Florida, Denk, Los Angeles, California, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, California, Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles, The Royal College of Art in London, West Gallery CSUN in Los Angeles, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California, High- ways Performance Space, Santa Monica, California, Unit 24, London.

Margaret Griffith’s (b. Winston Salem, North Carolina) site-specific installations reveal a critical relationship between form and place. These nuanced relationships appear in the architectural forms where she lives and beyond, finding their way into her work. Griffith’s work explores the idea of permanence as fiction – the paper and metal forms serve as monuments to fragility and impermanence, while change, instability, prospect and emptiness flourish in our urban landscape. Griffith received her MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy and her BFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Her works have been exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including Mount Saint Mary’s University and Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, NY and Museo Archelogico di Amelia in Italy. Upcoming solo and group exhibitions include Sculpture Installation at La Sierra University, Riverside, CA in February 2020 and Let Me Talk at the Brand Gallery, Los Angeles in April 2020. Griffith is the 2017 recipient of the Davyd Whaley Mid-Artist Career Grant.

Ashley Hagen (b. 1975, Ames, Iowa) is a contemporary Artist based in Los Angeles. The illusion of “real,” or human-scale space and the meaning of “home” sustain her aesthetic and conceptual inquiry. Her work examines limitlessness, inventiveness, mystery, imagination, adventure, and possibility. A variety of approaches enable her to explore the act of playing that becomes an important process in uncovering the metaphors of home and self, and when fantasy meets reality. Hagen’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe, including exhibitions at DENK, Western Project, Brand Library and Art Center, The University Art Museum in Long Beach, Andrew Shire Gallery, The Prospectus, Art Platform, Juried by Ali Subotnick of the Hammer Museum for Boom, The Irvine Fine Arts Center, Deborah Martin gallery, Galerie dei Barri, Cerritos College Art Gallery, and Palais Ferstel in Vienna, Austria.

Samuel Jernigan (b. 1980, Lake Charles, Louisiana) work reflects a response to conflation of sentiment and history that structure modes of meaning-making and belonging through the consumption of pop narrative image. It explores notions of sentiment and hierarchy embodied in aesthetic languages of grandeur and charm. It is a literal mashup of disparate narratives which all become parts in play of a larger narrative construct that extends beyond an autonomous character. It explores the porosity and malleability of the aesthetics of these narratives as recorded in plastic and rigid materials; making mortal the weight of sentiment and history which persist in tenuous relation to their construction. Jernigan received his BFA at California State University Long Beach and his MFA from University of California Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at Long Beach Museum of Art-Art Exchange, Museum of Latin American Art, and American Museum of Ceramic Art. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Thomas Müller (b. Cape Town, South Africa) is an artist and educator currently living and working in Los Angeles, California. A Swiss/US citizen, he was born in Cape Town, South Africa and spent his childhood growing up around the globe. His exposure to disparate locales and cultures during his childhood and adolescence has inevitably influenced his work, in particular as it relates to language, memory and time. Shortly after receiving his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, he moved to Los Angeles and has maintained an active studio practice and exhibition record, showing locally, nationally and internationally, with recent solo shows in Los Angeles, Denver and Washington DC. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Chair of Art, 3D at the University of Southern California.

Ruben Ochoa (b. 1974, Oceanside, California) lives and works in Los Angeles. Ochoa’s work is a manifestation of the urban environment he is surrounded by in the Southern California landscape, where he was born and raised. Using vernacular building materials collected from hardware stores, construction sites, and family businesses – even employing the labor skills of relatives for production – Ochoa recalls the concrete, dirt, and rebar of his Los Angeles landscape with a sophisticated-yet-playful elegance. In exploring the geography and physicality of the city, Ochoa addresses the boundaries of the space – curbs, freeways, chain-link fences – all marks of contention, displacement, and division of social classes, which ultimately speak to the social and economic climate of the city. Ochoa received his MFA from University of California, Irvine, and his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles. His work has been widely exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally, and he was included in the Whitney Biennale in 2008 at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York City. Ruben Ochoa is represented by Susan Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles, CA.

Noé Olivas (b. San Diego, California) is a Southern California-based artist, living and working in Los Angeles. Through printing making, sculpture, and performance, he investigates the poetics of labor. He considers the relationship between labor as it fits into the conceptions of femininity and masculinity in order to play with and reshape cultural references, narratives, myths, traditions, and objects, ultimately employing a new meaning. Olivas received his MFA at University of Southern California in 2019 and BA in Visual Arts from the University of San Diego in 2013. His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums, including Charlie James Gallery, ltd gallery, and Residency Art Gallery in Los Angeles, The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art in San Bernadino, and the San Diego Art Museum.

Erika Ostrander (b. 1984, Burbank, California) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her sculptures and installations reflect an engagement with the ephemerality of materials and the loss of the corporeal. Ostrander engages in the production of visceral objects and spaces that invoke the body’s phenomenological relationship to the transformation of organic materials. Ostrander is currently the Exhibitions Coordinator at the CSU Northridge Art Galleries. She received her MFA from UC San Diego in 2016. In 2013 she received an MA and BA in 2011 from CSU Northridge. Her work has been exhibited internationally at SKALA Gallery in Poznań, Poland, and nationally at Open Mind Art Space, The Brand Library, Torrance Art Museum, Reserve Ames, Eastside International, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

Nicole Seisler (b. 1982, Washington, D.C.) is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist who creates sculpture, installation, and public art that investigate time, materiality, process, and the overlapping roles of artist/viewer/participant/collaborator. Seisler received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles; Customs House, Sydney; Alto Galleria, Brussels; and Flash Atoyle in Izmir, Turkey. She recently completed a large-scale permanent installation for the Airbnb Headquarters in San Francisco and was a resident visiting artist at Ash Street Project in Portland, OR. Seisler currently teaches at Pasadena City College and is the Director of the Los Angeles contemporary ceramics gallery A-B Projects.

Christian Tedeschi (b. 1974, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an artist based in Los Angeles. His work is interdisciplinary in nature and utilizes a variety of materials. Fabricated and found objects, materials, sounds, and smells are employed as a means to create a varied body of sculpture and installation. Rooted in material and object/spatial poetics, as well as deconstruction and re-contextualization. He fabricates, alters and reinterprets objects and situations to create psychoactive forms, narratives and experiences. Tedeschi received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA from University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA. He is currently the head of Sculpture in the Studio Art program at CSU Northridge, CA.