'Kelly O'Connor: Last Resort'

Kelly O'Connor's exhibit gives visitors a chance to escape into a fractured version of mid-century Vacationland

Exhibitionism

'Kelly O'Connor: Last Resort'

Women & Their Work, 1710 Lavaca, 477-1064
www.womenandtheirwork.org
Through May 9

See Rock City from the Tomorrowland Terrace after sunning in our Olympic-sized swimming pool! Kelly O'Connor has broken the tourist apotheosis of midcentury America into art-sized pieces and reconfigured them in the context of gallery space, filling Women & Their Work with big collages and a variety of installations as enigmatic yet achingly familiar as those pylons used by Sleestaks in a somewhat later but no less fabricated Land of the Lost.

That "ache" in the achingly familiar is the ache of nostalgia, or perhaps the ache of that nostalgia's shattering, as O'Connor explodes ideas of what was once idealized about getting-away-from-it-all. Still, you don't have to be a Mad Men aficionado to appreciate the particular color palate of those bygone days, and its representation here goes as far toward soothing that ache as it does toward exacerbating it: the golds and greens, the proud ocean of cerulean shades, all the formerly state-of-the-art triumphs of color printing on display again in these note-perfect deconstructions, sending you smiling through advertisement's paper-based heydays.

Women & Their Work is in the habit of hosting artists who not only display what they've created but also use the work to transform the available space into a fully furnished annex of their minds, bringing conceits and concerns to a three-dimensional totality that visitors can walk around in. This "Last Resort" show is another successful example of that, especially appropriate due to its attention on the destinations an entire nation once fled to for respite from the quotidian world. Here's your own chance to escape, then, ladies and gentlemen – if only briefly – into a fractured, vivid version of a previous generation's escapism, served up by artist O'Connor in that familiar visual-arts venue on Lavaca.

READ MORE
More Austin visual art
Exhibitionism
"Ryan Cronk: Migration Wisdom, Chalk Lines, Tracings, and Undertow"
This solo show explores new existential threats in sharp analytical prints and layered chaotic collage

Seth Orion Schwaiger, Sept. 5, 2014

"Michael Anthony García: Chimaera"
This ambitious solo show explores gender duality with the help of furniture and clothing borrowed from friends and family

Seth Orion Schwaiger, Aug. 29, 2014

More Arts Reviews
<i>Matt & Ben</i> at the Institution Theater
Matt & Ben at the Institution Theater
Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers use Damon and Affleck to create a hilarious case study in how Hollywood murders friendship

T. Lynn Mikeska, Jan. 20, 2017

Austin Playhouse's <i>Bloomsday</i>
Austin Playhouse’s Bloomsday
Steven Dietz's rumination on a great love lost lacks some of the vivid passion it needs in this staging

Elizabeth Cobbe, Jan. 20, 2017

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
The Time Machine: Top Hits of Every Decade for a Century
The Time Machine's Century of Music
Montopolis goes multimedia and transtemporal in live concert

Jan. 11, 2017

The Dream Wanderer: Get in the Back of the Van!
The Dream Wanderer: Get in the Back of the Van!
Touring VR project reveals a series of eerie heavens on Earth

Jan. 4, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Kelley O'Connor: Last Resort, Austin visual art, Women & Their Work

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)