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Claudia Comte

Vaudois artist Claudia Comte was born in Grancy in 1983, and graduated from the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) in 2007. While completing a Master’s degree in the same village, she won several artist residencies, in Paris (2008), Berlin (2009), Rome (2010) and Johannesburg, South Africa (2013-2014), as well as many prizes, including the Swiss Art Prize in 2014.

She is multidisciplinary, practicing a variety of techniques—painting, sculpture and engraving—often combining them in her installations. The artist has mastered the chain saw just as much as the 3D printer, because her penchant for experimentation boundlessly leads her into a vast creative field. The alternation of tools and materials, like marble and wood, is an integral part of her prolific, dynamic work.

Like the worlds that inspire her, from handicrafts to pop culture or even art history, she proliferates references that are just as amusing as they are artistic. Often consisting of geometric lines like zigzags or circles, her mural paintings are particularly evocative of the op art and neo-geo trends. Among the artist’s other favorite motifs, cactuses, donuts, or expressions and images captured from cartoons, punctuate her formal vocabulary, which allies representation with abstraction.

Decomposition and repetition are recurring features of her indoor and outdoor work, whether she is taking possession of the museum environment at the Centre culturel suisse in Paris (2013), or at Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich (2014) or in the Palm Springs desert (2017)—to mention only a few of her exhibition sites.

Making use of a multitude of mediums and creative processes, her work has become easily recognizable, having shaped its own identity through its playful and graphical character. Claudia Comte also plays with public participation, sometimes luring her viewers to regress into childhood. In Lucerne in 2017, she invited them onto her sculpted wooden see-saws, which she made available to them in a large room at the Kunstmuseum during a solo exhibition. The same year in Basel’s Messeplatz, her installation and palindrome NOW I WON (2017) abounded in activities inspired by funfairs, offering passers-by the delights and pleasures of play.

Claudia Comte lives and works between Berlin and Grancy.