Claire Ashley: Chromatic Blush

October 20, 2024–January 19, 2025

Step into the immersive world of colorfully painted vibrant inflatables by Claire Ashley (Scottish, born 1971). For over a decade, she has used inflatables as both sculptures and paintings, mining the language of painterly abstraction, monumental installation, and slapstick humor. For Ashley, the inflatable form in its two states—inflated and deflated—offers a compelling metaphor for the human body, echoing its processes of tension and release. Challenging conventional notions of beauty and taste, Ashley presents her lumpy and luminous creations as both self-portraits and embodiments of broader narratives relating to femme bodies and cultural norms. Accompanied by a soundscape, Chromatic Blush invites viewers to bask in their voluminous presence, aglow and emanating uninhibited, jubilant energy. Imagine, along with Ashley, an evolutionary future where new hybrid organisms emerge out of the Anthropocene.

Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, and now based in Chicago, Ashley teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her Master of Fine Arts. Her works have been exhibited at numerous national and international venues such as The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR; and Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI, among others.

This exhibition is organized by Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, curated by Rangsook Yoon, Ph.D., senior curator, Sarasota Art Museum.

This exhibition is made possible, in part, with generous support from:

Platinum Sponsor
Shari and John Hicks


Silver Sponsor
Appleby Foundation
Elaine and Bill Crouse
Judy and Fred Fiala
Huisking Foundation
Mary Ann and John Meyer
John and Charlotte Suhler

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Gallery Didactics for Picking up the Pieces:

Special thanks to the many generous donors who made gifts in memory of Peppi Elona.

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