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Christopher Astley and Saira McLaren open exhibition of painting and sculpture
Christopher Astley, Elementary Wequiahments I, 2013. Acrylic dye on raw linen, glazed ceramic, 28 x 36 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sargent’s Daughters are presenting Christopher Astley and Saira McLaren, a two person exhibition of painting and sculpture. The exhibition opened on Friday, December 13, 2013 and continue until January 25, 2014.

In the works of both Christopher Astley and Saira McLaren material and form transcend their original manifestations and become greater than the sum of their parts. Astley’s sculptures, straining against their stationary status, push the fabric that coats them to their outer limits. We can sense the motion inherent in the immobile work. At the same moment that the stillness of concrete battles the trajectory of the piece, we see the ultimate conclusion of that travel in the solid, cratered works. The orbit of movement has an end that is as elegant as it is powerful. In Astley’s paintings, the landscape surrounding the action has a tranquility at odds with the coarse, crenellated surface. If we are looking at a view, it is through a scuffed looking glass.

McLaren’s paintings, on the other hand, suggest a larger world than what is immediately visible. The bright bleeding colors and glistening surfaces point to figures and features that are not instantly recognizable. McLaren’s sculptures glitter and undulate like a woman draped in a burnished sheath, their weight anchoring the lightness of the paintings floating above. As in Astley’s work, the motion of the surface is paramount, but McLaren teases with a perspective that reveals a distinct vista. We could be looking at something under a microscope, or from an incredible distance.

The contrasts of materials and forms creates an electricity between the two artists, trading rough surfaces for smooth and stillness for motion. In the spaces between, a sensory experience emerges- one that connects us to each work with a brightly colored thread.

Christopher Astley was born in East Lansing, Michigan and received his BGS degree from The University of Michigan. Astley’s work has been included in exhibitions at: Leo Koenig, New York, NY; Martos Gallery New York, NY; BravinLee, New York, NY; Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton, NY; Michael Stienberg Fine Arts, New York, NY; The Margulies Collection, Miami, FL, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida; Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; H&R Block Artspace at Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri; Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Astley's work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Art and America, Interview Magazine and Hamptons Magazine.

Saira McLaren was born in Toronto, Canada and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited at Mulherin Pollard, New York, NY; Grizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia, PA; Zieher Smith, New York, NY. McLaren has work in the permanent collection of the Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada and has been featured in publications such as artSlant, artnet, and Beautiful Decay Magazine

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