"Mons Dew" at MASS Gallery

Five artists bombard the senses with brightly colored images that speak to personal consumption of commercial goods

Cazal by Melissa Brown

In 2010, the British virtual band Gorillaz put out Plastic Beach, an album that details a postapocalyptic world where humanity's folly plays out on a new landscape of physical refuse. Plastic trash makes up our new topography, with discarded household items gleaming in the sun, stretching for miles on end. Lead singer Damon Albarn croons in the album's title track, "It's a Casio on a plastic beach./ It's a Styrofoam deep-sea landfill." The planet has fallen into superficial chaos, and Albarn can do nothing more than sit back and take in the new world order.

"Mons Dew" feels like a natural extension of Albarn's Plastic Beach. The exhibition at MASS Gallery intends to "confuse, illuminate, and delight the senses" through sculpture, painting, and video work from five artists: Patrick Berran, Melissa Brown, Andy Coolquitt, Stacy Fisher, and Shara Hughes. While each artist brings an entirely different approach to his or her work, "Mons Dew" adopts a color palette of bright, almost neon, hues. Additionally, the show brings many manufactured or commercial objects to the forefront of the work.

Berran's fluorescent paintings stand adjacent to Brown's video Casino Trip, which depicts images of card decks and various other game icons in stop-motion animation, complete with all the dinging and buzzing audio from casinos. It's sensory bombardment, which carries throughout "Mons Dew."

At the exhibition center stands Coolquitt, who can be polarizing for arts enthusiasts – some love his deconstructed approach while others have a hard time pinpointing his creative narrative. His pieces here consume MASS's gallery space and infuse the exhibition with found-object sculpture and ephemera. While Coolquitt provides an expansive array of objects to study, Hughes and Fisher offer much more simplistic work. This simplicity should balance out the indulgent visuals from Berran, Brown, and Coolquitt, but instead it forces these artists into the background of the exhibition, behind its more aggressive players.

"Mons Dew" explores a distinct thread of visual cues that speak to personal consumption and individual expression, though some of its artists feel more cohesive in their execution than others.

"Mons Dew"

MASS Gallery, 507 Calles #108
Through Oct. 24

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More MASS Gallery
MASS Gallery Sends Exquisite Corpses Through the Mail
MASS Gallery Sends Exquisite Corpses Through the Mail
The Austin artspace gets downright surreal with the USPS for its current exhibition

Wayne Alan Brenner, Oct. 23, 2020

"Interwoven" at MASS Gallery
In this group show of fiber artists, a stitch in time saves, nein?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Feb. 1, 2019

More Arts Reviews
"Reweave: 2021"
With her exhibition, artist Jade Walker entwines viewers in the future of the planet

Robert Faires, July 23, 2021

Playwright Carlo Lorenzo García Paints His Mother's Sacrifice
Playwright Carlo Lorenzo García Paints His Mother's Sacrifice
A Portrait of My Mother staged by Jarrott Productions, depicts maternal perseverance in loving strokes

Robert Faires, July 9, 2021

More by Caitlin Greenwood
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
As he leaves Austin, the award-winning curator and artist reflects on the city's artists and art community

March 10, 2017

“I saw the world” at Pump Project
“I saw the world” at Pump Project
Imperialism and identity compete in Betelhem Makonnen’s solo show about a 19th century Ethiopian prince

Dec. 23, 2016


MASS Gallery, Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, Andy Coolquitt, Patrick Berran, Melissa Brown, Stacy Fisher, Shara Hughes

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle