Claire Ashley: (((CRZ.F.4NRS.AAK)))

September 15 – December 3, 2017

808 Gallery

Opening Reception: Saturday October 14, 3-5pm

Claire Ashley’s large-scale inflatable objects combine painting, sculpture, installation, and performance to defy a singular definition. The coded title of the exhibition translates to “Crazy Female Foreigners Alive and Kicking” referencing Ashley’s Scottish nationality and alluding to the instability of global politics, and the temporal existence of her sculptures inhabiting and moving through space. In her debut solo exhibition in New England, Ashley offers a humorous critique of art world trends and expectations of the human body. Her vessels are boldly colorful on the exterior while supported on the interior solely by air. Ashley’s objects exist at an intersection between imposing yet vulnerable, bloated yet sagging, while combining painterly characteristics of Abstract Expressionism, the playfulness of large scale Pop art, and the psychedelic spectrum of Day-Glo fluorescent colors. The exhibition will include approximately thirty inflatables varying in scale and thirty small paper pieces.

About Claire Ashley

Claire Ashley (Scottish, born 1971) earned her BA in 1993 from Grays School of Art, Aberdeen, Scotland and an MFA (Painting and Drawing) from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1995)… As seen in this exhibition at 808 Gallery, Ashley’s recent work explores inflatable objects as painting, sculpture, installation, and performance costume. In her artist statement, she describes, “I mine the language of painterly abstraction, monumental sculpture, slapstick humor, and pop art to transform mundane industrial materials into inflatable painted sculptures and performative props.”

Ashley challenges assumptions about form, boundaries, and perception, working “within a deeply feminist critique of the contemporary art world. I use humor, acidic color, obnoxious scale, and absurd pop-culture references to challenge art historical precedence and current art world power dynamics. My work is particularly invested in exploding the structural possibilities of abstract painting, expanding the kinetic possibilities for monumental sculpture, and enlivening the dialogue around contemporary art across class, gender, age, and education.” Find more at http://www.claireashley.com