Austin’s West Chelsea Contemporary Showcases Best of Modern Street Art

When we consider art, we typically think of past masters. We travel to Paris to view works of greats like Da Vinci and Van Gogh while discussing critical art movements from times long past.

We typically don’t consider the influential artists practicing in the here and now, the names that will eventually stand beside these grand masters in programs on art history.

West Chelsea Contemporary Austin

The Marquee outside the West Chelsea Contemporary
Photo Credit: B. Gill, Partners in Fire

West Chelsea Contemporary in Austin seeks to change that, making contemporary art and the artists creating it available to the public.

The gallery is constantly rotating exhibitions, celebrating practicing artists and making art accessible for all.

From The Vault

circular bank vault door open, with a glowing light shining from the inside.
Photo Credit: Golden Dayz via

The current exhibition, From the Vault, features a diverse collection of artworks from various contemporary movements and a wide range of artists, including established names and emerging talents.

The exhibition also includes a few pieces on loan from private collections that are impossible to see anywhere else, allowing the public to explore contemporary art’s international landscape.

Here are a few of the featured artists and their works.

Robert Indiana

Robert IndianaChosen Love (87/125), 1995Skein-dyed, hand-carved, and hand-tufted archival New Zealand wool on stretched canvas
Photos Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary

Robert Indiana is an American pop artist best known for his Love and Hope paintings series. These motifs became a staple of pop culture, spawning sculptures around the country.  

Piece Details:

Chosen Love (87/125), 1995

Skein-dyed, hand-carved, and hand-tufted archival New Zealand wool on stretched canvas

George Condo

George Condo The Insane Clown (8/30), 2019Etching with Drypoint on Paper
Photos Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary

An American artist who got his start working in Andy Warhol’s studios, George Condo is best known for a distorted figurative painting style he calls Psychological Cubism.

Piece Details:

The Insane Clown (8/30), 2019

Etching with Drypoint on Paper

Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara Space Cat, 1991Acrylic on paper
Photos Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary

A Japanese artist and contemporary of famed artist Takisha Murakami, Nara is best known for paintings depicting children that look both sweet and sinister at the same time.

Piece Details:

Space Cat, 1991

Acrylic on paper

Malene Heerup

Malene Heerup Geisha, Girl with the Grey Eyes, 2011Oil, gold, and acrylic on canvas.
Photos Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary.

Danish-born Malene Heerup comes from a long line of artists but found her own style from various inspirations worldwide, including New York Street art, fashion, and abstract surrealism.

Piece Details:

Geisha, Girl with the Grey Eyes, 2011

Oil, gold, and acrylic on canvas


Aboudia Untitled, 2011Acrylic and mixed media collage on canvas
Photos Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary.

A contemporary street artist hailing from Côte d’Ivoire, Aboudia draws inspiration from tragedy. His work showcases his experience after the devastating civil war in his home country.

Piece Details:

Untitled, 2011

Acrylic and mixed media collage on canvas

Sean Qualls

Sean Qualls Greater Than Cotton, 2018Acrylic, newspaper, paper, and pencil.
Photos Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary.

Sean Qualls work focuses on race and identity, but he seeks to reveal the commonalities inherent within the human spirit.

Piece Details:

Greater Than Cotton, 2018

Acrylic, newspaper, paper, and pencil 

Visit the West Chelsea Contemporary

Outside view of the West Chelsea Contemporary in Austin
Photo Credit: B. Gill, Partners in Fire

Located on West 6th Street just past Lamar, the Gallery is open to the public seven days a week, ranging from 10 am to 8 pm (hours vary by day.)

From the Vault ends on June 11, but the West Chelsea Contemporary has a full schedule of events and exhibitions for the rest of the Year. 

Next up: Editions, highlighting the unique world of limited edition multiples. 

Source: West Chelsea Contemporary 

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