Gigantic pneumatic sculptures splashed with DayGlo-colored paint fill two of the largest spaces at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal. The installation creates a sensual landscape dominated by gigantic billowing forms.
The exhibition is entitled "Cawt, Taut, Hot...Not" and it's the creation of artist Claire Ashley. Jason Judd is the curator of the show, which features huge sculptural works that seem to imitate cartoons and more. "They also imitate androgynous body parts," he said. "So you get that feeling of a skin or a membrane, and they kind of act as characters, as well. Claire's work, as a whole, achieves this monumental scale of art making, but also tackles issues of being funny and being approachable. She likes to think about how approachable contemporary art can be."
The material used is PVC coated drop cloths, so she uses painter's material in order to create sculptures. Judd revealed that Ashley's studio is very tiny, so the artist paints the flat materials in her studio, then must go out to her back yard to inflate them and finish painting them. "Installing the show was nothing like I've ever experienced before, " Judd said. "Normally, you hang or you have video projections. This installation is very hands-on. You have to touch the art, you have to move it. It doesn't just inflate like a balloon, you have to guide it to inflate it."
The large windows at the ISU Galleries have helped Judd showcase Ashley's work, plus the strange and colorful shapes have tremendous drawing power. "It's fun and very populous. People want to come in and talk about the work."
The exhibition continues through Sept. 11.