Claire Ashley’s vibrant inflatables embrace and amplify the slippery, blurred lines between painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. On the surface, her monumentally scaled inflatables are soaked in abstract painting, covered by an exhaustive palette of neon hues. Her acidic, bold colors reference pop culture and greet the viewer with an infectious sense of joy that cannot be ignored. Ashley reaches beyond the discipline of painting in her practice, extending flat mark making into the physical, tangible, three-dimensional realm. She works on PVC-coated ripstop nylon, which allows the “painting” to then be manipulated and reconfigured into an amorphous, undefinable form that feels recognizable yet uncannily abstract.
About the Artist:
Claire Ashley received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, Scotland. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Ashley is now based in Chicago. Currently, she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Contemporary Practices and the Department of Painting and Drawing.
Ashley’s work investigates inflatables as painting, sculpture, installation, and performance costume. She has been featured in Hyperallergic, Artforum, and Sculpture Magazine, among other publications. Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, site-specific installations, performances, and collaborations. Ashley has recently had solo exhibitions at MOCA Jacksonville, FL; Boston Children’s Museum; 808 Gallery, Boston University; Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia; and The Chicago Cultural Center. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at numerous venues, including Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, England; Art Basel, Kassel, Germany; and MCA Chicago. Ashley’s work has also been exhibited across Scotland.
About Present Box:
Present Box is a series of temporary exhibitions that invite artists to transform BMoCA’s lobby and front entrance into innovative installations, performances, and events. The site-specific projects are intended to encourage artists to create work outside their comfort zones and to foster interactive participation. Artists are also urged to explore themes that are relevant for our present time.