First survey monograph: hovering between painting, sculpture, and installation, Comte's works are based on references to popular culture—including cartoons as well as vernacular handicrafts—nature, heraldic symbols, and art historical movements (Op art, Pop art, Neo-Geo, Concrete art).
Claudia Comte is best known for her site-specific installations, featuring wooden sculptural forms set against graphic, abstract wall paintings. She creates a unique, rule-based measurement system for each new body of work so that every piece relates to a particular scale. For her first retrospective survey exhibition “10 Rooms, 40 Walls, 1059 m2” at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, this principle has become the agenda: the artist has used 10 rooms, created 40 wall paintings, and filled 1,059 square meters of space by combining the painted museum walls with new series of paintings and sculptures. Despite such regimented structures, Comte's pieces are imbued with a sense of playfulness, humor and irreverence, puncturing the seriousness connected with minimalism.
Hovering between painting, sculpture, and installation, Comte's works are based on references to popular culture—including cartoons as well as vernacular handicrafts—nature, heraldic symbols, and art historical movements (Op art, Pop art, Concrete art). Her sculptures can be read as persiflage on classical sculpture, while at the same time negotiating questions of display, the role of the plinth, and simple ground/figure issues.
Bringing together texts by Fanni Fetzer (Director, Kunstmuseum Luzern), Chus Martínez (Head of the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel), Op art specialist Matthieu Poirier (freelance curator and critic, Paris), and a conversation with Claudia Comte by American curator Neville Wakefield, this monograph offers the first complete survey of Claudia Comte's work.
Published following Claudia Comte's exhibition “10 Rooms, 40 Walls, 1059 m2” at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, from March 4 to June 18, 2017.
Claudia Comte (born 1983 in Grancy, Switzerland) is an artist based in the countryside outside of Basel, Switzerland. She works between media, often combining sculptures or installation with wall paintings to create environments where works relate to each other with a visual rhythm that is both methodical and playful. Her work is defined by her interest in the memory of materials and by a careful observation of how the hand relates to different technologies. Claudia Comte has been invested in understanding the relationships between different forms of life. Materials do not only have a memory, but they also possess a knowledge about the environments they belong to. Marble entails the ocean, and life under water is crystallized and it would be inaccurate to see this material as hard, since it is liquid at its core. Wood "remembers" the climate conditions of the planet and the forest that embodies the thousands of symbiotic processes that allow air, energy, breathing, growing, food, shelter. Claudia Comte's work opens our view to environment, oxygen, the way the conditions of our planet modify the materials—in every pattern and object.
Comte was awarded the Swiss Art Award in 2014 and with the Kiefer Hablitzel Award in 2012. She got supported by the UBS Foundation for Contemporary Art (Switzerland) in 2012 and won the Kulturförderpreis by Alexander Clavel Stiftung (Riehen, Switzerland) in 2018.