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West Chelsea Contemporary Presents: Icons & Vandals

FEATURING BANKSY, BASQUIAT, HARING, KUSAMA, LICHTENSTEIN & MORE. IT’S OUR BIGGEST SHOW TO DATE.


WEST CHELSEA CONTEMPORARY OPENS A MONUMENTAL NEW EXHIBIT “ICONS & VANDALS” TO THE PUBLIC ON MAY 15 

Our newest exhibition celebrates innovators and art-world agitators whose featured works are both monumental in scale and impact – ft. Banksy, Basquiat, Murakami, Kusama and more.

ICONS & VANDALS – Works of great scale have arrived at West Chelsea Contemporary for this new exhibition, including a sixteen foot RETNA, and a larger than life steel Boonji Spaceman by Brendan Murphy .

AUSTIN, Texas — On Saturday, May 15, West Chelsea Contemporary invites the public to experience the newest exhibit “Icons & Vandals” at our downtown gallery running through July 11. Recognizable by name and respected for their invaluable contribution, the artists featured in this new show have subverted the contemporary art world throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Categorized by their emergence, artists like Banksy, Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, Ai Weiwei, RETNA, Andy Warhol and more, have distinguished themselves through disruption. Icons & Vandals seeks to celebrate and highlight monumental works by notable innovators in the contemporary art world. 

With artwork spanning 60 years, Icons & Vandals features art-world agitators from across the globe. Modern Masters—such as Alex Katz and Frank Stella—challenged the status quo through aesthetic and technical innovation. While Pop Art icons—like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol—mined ‘low-brow’ culture and transformed it into fine art. Contemporary Neo-Pop legends—such as Takashi Murakami and Yoshitimo Nara—re-explore the conceptual underpinnings of Pop through the lens of global contemporary culture while pushing the visual language of the movement even further. Contemporary Chinese Artistslike Ai WeiWei and Zhang Xiaogang—critique their country’s collectivist society on a global scale. Street art pioneers—from Jean-Michel Basquiat to Banksy—disrupt physical urban space while challenging the boundaries of what can be considered art. In this same vein, artist-licensed Skate Decks and Vinyl Art bring both toy culture and the subculture of skating into the upper echelon of the art world and redefine what it means to be a collector. 

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

Banksy

West Chelsea Contemporary’s nearly 8,000 square-foot gallery offers the opportunity to highlight work on a monumental scale. From 16-foot originals by RETNA and Cey Adams to colossal sculptural work—including a larger than life mixed media shark and painted aluminum spaceman—the gallery is quite literally activated by art world giants. By contemplating ground-breaking movements from the past six decades, Icons & Vandals allows viewers to rediscover and redefine the art world’s most iconic and contentious house-hold names. These artists have left their mark on the development and progression of contemporary art by subverting the norms of their own time. Through this show it becomes clear that these two labels are not mutually exclusive, but rather are ingrained in their interconnectedness.

“Art should by something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination, and encourages people to go further.”

Keith Haring

Initially founded in 2002 by Lisa Russell as Russell Collection, the revamped gallery launched in the fall of 2020 as West Chelsea Contemporary. Since reopening, the gallery has delivered show after show of world renowned art for purveyors and collectors alike, celebrating the biggest names in contemporary art like Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Basquiat, KAWS, and more alongside local contemporary artists. Each exhibit since its reopening has reiterated the breadth of the gallery’s wide curatorial scope and what it has in store for Austin — a city that’s risen in recognition for its public art and museum offerings in recent years, which continue to grow alongside the city itself. 

WCC Editions is pleased to announce a limited edition print drop by artist Cey Adams this June 19th.

Visitors will enter through the WCC Gift Shop and Print Shop, which features items for the art enthusiast and art collector alike. The store makes contemporary art accessible, complete with KAWS companions and Kusama pumpkins, as well as art books covering Alex Katz, Takashi Murakami, and more. Smaller art tokens such as magnets, toys, mugs, and tea towels highlight artists ranging from David Shrigley and Keith Haring to the Guerilla Girls and Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday from 10-6 and Sundays from 12-6. In order to maintain a safe experience for all, visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings in the space and to practice social distancing. 

For more information on West Chelsea Contemporary and the opening of Icons & Vandals, please visit wcc.art and follow the gallery on Instagram @wcc.art and Facebook @wcc.gallery

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ABOUT WEST CHELSEA CONTEMPORARY: 

Founded in Austin in 2002, West Chelsea Contemporary (formerly Russell Collection) offers works by names such as Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Damien Hirst, KAWS, Hunt Slonem, Takashi Murakami, and Yayoi Kusama. Representing emerging and mid-career artists working in a range of mediums, the gallery’s program focuses on the 20th and 21st century, with a particular interest in Modern, Pop, Contemporary, and Street Art. In addition to Blue-Chip names, Today the gallery maintains an exhibition space totaling more than 7,800 square feet, with two satellite locations and a pop-up @ Domain Northside. WCC offers services including art consulting, delivery & installation, and custom framing. The downtown gallery is open Monday – Saturday from 10-6 and Sundays from 12-6. For more information on West Chelsea Contemporary and its upcoming exhibits, please visit wcc.art or find the gallery on Instagram @wcc.art and Facebook @wcc.gallery

FOREWORD 

Recognizable by name and respected for their invaluable contribution, the artists featured in Icons & Vandals have subverted the contemporary art world throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Categorized by their emergence, whether through normative or non-normative means, these artist’s have distinguished themselves through disruption. Icons & Vandals seeks to celebrate and highlight monumental works by notable innovators. 

With artwork spanning 60 years, Icons & Vandals features art-world agitators from across the globe. Modern Masters—such as Alex Katz and Frank Stella—challenged the status quo through aesthetic and technical innovation. While Pop Art icons—like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol—mined ‘low-brow’ culture and transformed it into fine art. Contemporary Neo-Pop legends—such as Takashi Murakami and Yoshitimo Nara—re-explore the conceptual underpinnings of Pop through the lens of global contemporary culture while pushing the visual language of the movement even further. Contemporary Chinese Artistslike Ai WeiWei and Zhang Xiaogang—critique their country’s collectivist society on a global scale. Street art pioneers—from Jean-Michel Basquiat to Banksy—disrupt physical urban space while challenging the boundaries of what can be considered art. In this same vein, artist-licensed Skate Decks and Vinyl Art bring both toy culture and the subculture of skating into the upper echelon of the art world and redefine what it means to be a collector.https://wcc.art/contact-us/

West Chelsea Contemporary’s nearly 8,000 square-foot gallery offers the opportunity to highlight work on a monumental scale. From 16-foot originals by RETNA and Cey Adams to colossal sculptural work—including a larger than life mixed media shark and painted aluminum spaceman—the gallery is activated by art world giant’s not only in a metaphorical sense. 

By contemplating ground-breaking movements from the past six decades, Icons & Vandals allows viewers to rediscover and redefine the art world’s most iconic and contentious house-hold names.These artists have left their mark on the development and progression of contemporary art by subverting the norms of their own time.  Through this show it becomes clear that these two labels are not mutually exclusive but in fact ingrained in their interconnectedness. 

Works from ICONS & VANDALS will be on display and for sale at West Chelsea Contemporary in beginning May 15.

Reach out today to inquire or acquire.


FEATURED IN WCC’S SHOW -ICONS & VANDALS

KUSAMA | HAMBLETON | HIRST | NARA | BANKSY | PETERSON | PHOEBENEWYORK | RETNA | RISK | YOUNG | RUSCHA | WARHOL |FAIREY | & more.

Follow @wcc.art to learn more.

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