Preview: “BLOW UP” Inflatable Group Show at Bedford Gallery

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on


Momoyo Torimitsu, Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable, 2000, inflatable nylon balloons, 6.5 x 6.5 x 15.8 feet each, photo by Kioku Keizo, Courtesy of Misa Shin Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, CA shines a spotlight on artists who use air as a sculptural medium in their show “BLOW UP,” on view April 26 through June 21. The featured artists are Claire Ashley, Lee Boroson, Lewis deSoto, Patrick Flibotte, Billie G. Lynn, Guy Overfelt, Momoyo Torimitsu, Christo and Jean-Claude, and Andy Warhol, and each person has his or her own unique take on inflatables.

While we often associate inflatable sculptures with advertising gimmicks and children’s entertainment, the aesthetics in “BLOW UP” are diverse, with pieces as varied as De Soto’s sleeping Buddha, Warhol’s silver “clouds,” and Claire Ashley’s colorful, abstract shapes. The exhibition has a sense of fun and whimsy, with so many bright, balloon-like works showing together. Curated by Carrie Lederer, “BLOW UP” received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and will tour various galleries and museums around the country after it comes down at Bedford Gallery.

BLOW UP National Tour:

Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA April 26 – June 21, 2015
Vision Gallery, Chandler, AZ September 1 – Oct. 31, 2015
Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL December 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016
Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR March 1 – May 1, 2016
Benton Museum of Art at UCONN, Storrs, CT June 1 – July 31, 2016
Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL September 1, 2016 – January 29, 2017
Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI March 1 – April 30, 2017
Loveland Museum, Loveland, CO June 1 – August 20, 2017

Hi-Fructose is a media sponsor of this exhibition.


Andy Warhol, Silver Clouds, 1966, silver plastic film, helium and air, dimensions variable.


Guy Overfelt, Untitled (177 Smokey and the Bandit trans Am), 1999, inflatable nylon and electric blower, 4.5 x 17 x 7 feet.


Guy Overfelt, Untitled (177 Smokey and the Bandit trans Am), 1999, inflatable nylon and electric blower, 4.5 x 17 x 7 feet.


Billie G. Lynn, White Elephant 1, 2007, ripstop nylon, chiffon, electric fan, 10 x 6 x 8 feet.


Lewis deSoto, Paranirvana, 1999, painted nylon, fan, 26 x 7 x 6 feet


Lewis deSoto, Paranirvana, 1999, painted nylon, fan, 26 x 7 x 6 feet.


Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 5600 Cubicmeter Package, 1968.


Claire Ashley, Thing Two, 2013, spray paint on PVC coated canvas tarpaulin and fan, 3 x 5 x 1 feet.


Claire Ashley, Beauwoahzeau, 2012, spray paint on PVC coated canvas tarpaulin and fan, 12 x 12 x 12 feet each.

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