'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
"Low Down: New Works on Paper by Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz"
How the strange visions in this Not Gallery exhibition relate to one another is difficult to say, but they're all both ancient and immediate

Sam Anderson-Ramos, June 24, 2016

"Sara Madandar: AnOther Birth" at Courtyard Gallery
The dozen works in Sara Madandar's solo show are impressive in their variety, though many seem more like sketches than completed works

Sam Anderson-Ramos, June 24, 2016

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Only the Fourth Wall Is Forever
Only the Fourth Wall Is Forever
After 10 years, Salvage Vanguard Theater is moving on

June 24, 2016

47 Nonstop, Unsleeping, Possibly Hallucinatory Hours of Improv This Weekend
47-Hour Improv Marathon
The Hideout is doing that wild thing they do every year

June 16, 2016

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

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)