On November 7, West Chelsea Contemporary opened its newly renovated gallery space to the public with the exhibit “Concrete to Canvas” featuring the biggest names in street art. With almost 8,000-square-feet of exhibition space, “Concrete to Canvas” is a celebration of graffiti, street art and the artists born of these movements.
The exhibition is a rare opportunity to see and collect internationally recognized artists. The show includes an original painting by Banksy and a Basquiat print, two art legends whose work has never been shown in Austin.
“Concrete to Canvas” runs through December 31 at West Chelsea Contemporary (located in the heart of downtown Austin at 1009 W 6th St) and is open to all at no charge.
Formerly Russell Collection Fine Art, West Chelsea Contemporary is eager to continue to provide Austinites and visitors alike with museum quality art — now through a completely contemporary lens
A city known for its murals (think Daniel Johnston’s ‘hi, how are you?,’ SoCo’s ‘i love you so much,’ or the city’s largest, newest wall by Shepard Fairey), Austin is an ideal setting to showcase this significant collection—one that’s relevant and representative of today’s cultural undercurrents and social landscape.
“Concrete to Canvas” features artists who successfully made the transition from walls and subways to studio work, including Banksy, Basquiat, Mr. Brainwash, Henry Chalfant, Cey Adams, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Shepard Fairey, Futura, Richard Hambleton, Keith Haring, JonOne, JR, KAWS, Kobra, Kool Koor, Steve Lazarides, Daniel Maltzman, Barry McGee, Eric Orr, José Parlá, Cleon Peterson, Ricky Powell, Rammellzee, Blek Le Rat, RETNA, Risk, Kenny Scharf, Schoony, Seen, Stik, Swoon and Vhils. Pricing is available upon request.
“With the opening of ‘Concrete to Canvas,’ our gallery seeks to welcome all to see this unparalleled collection of street art by the most provocative creators in the world,” said Lisa Russell, owner of West Chelsea Contemporary. “It’s our hope with this show and beyond to continue to elevate Austin as a destination for contemporary art offering the type of work not seen outside of LA or New York.”
Graffiti, once considered an inferior art form (albeit still illegal), has run seemingly counter to today’s international art market. However, some of the biggest art stars in today’s market started their career creating on the street. Artists like Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Banksy, KAWS, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, all current auction house darlings, are household names whose practice has transitioned from sides of buildings to studios. They, like many street artists, work across a range of techniques—embracing everything from traditional media, such as painting and print, to exploring new mediums, like vinyl toys.
Alongside the exhibition, visitors will discover the WCC Gift Shop featuring items for the art enthusiast and art collector alike. The store makes art accessible to all—complete with KAWS companions, Keith Haring Bearbricks, 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 to the Guerilla Girls.
Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday from 10-6, late on Fridays from 10-8, Saturdays from 10-6, and Sundays from 12-6. In order to maintain a safe experience for all, visitors can expect required face coverings at all times in the space, reminders for social distancing, routine cleanings of the entire gallery, and close monitoring of entrances and exits.