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.


Claire Ashley

Claire Ashley

Often employing bright color as well as elements of Pop art and humor, Scottish-born artist Claire Ashley creates both two-dimensional work as well as sculpture, installation, and performance costume that expand our understanding of what constitutes abstract painting and sculpture. She frequently uses spray paint on insulating plastic and canvas tarpaulin to create the inflatable works. Ashley's amorphous sculptures combine elements of nature and the body, and draw on a variety of art historical, mythological, and literary references ranging from Michelangelo's Creation of Adam to Steven Spielberg's E.T.

Photo by Chester Alamo Costello