Project Atrium: Claire Ashley
Scottish-born, Chicago-based artist Claire Ashley mines the language of painterly abstraction, monumental sculpture, slapstick humor, and Pop Art to transform ordinary materials into inflatable painted sculptures. Abstract and figural, Close Encounters: Adam's Madam recalls the quintessential image of God the father extending his arm to give life to the first human, Adam, in Michelangelo's fresco The Creation of Adam, from the story of Genesis, in the Sistine Chapel. A self-proclaimed Sci-Fi geek, she also adapts alien scenes in Steven Spielberg's movies Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. as well as abstract marks and imaginary places in the work of American artist Frank Stella. At MOCA Jacksonville, Ashley creates fictional, humorous bodies, including a supersized cartoony hand that reaches down to touch visitors, to expose dramatic shifts in scale between sculpture and viewer.