Claudia Comte

The essence of nature, distilled into undulating sculpture and rhythmic abstraction.

claudia comte stood in front of a tree stump in a woodland area
Claudia Comte kneeling on the ground wearing a protection helmet to saw through a tree
variety of wooden coral sculptures placed outdoors
5 images

Swiss artist Claudia Comte was born in 1983 in Lausanne, and has since relocated to the outskirts of Basel.

Career

Comte has embarked on a globe-trotting series of residencies to enrich and progress her practice, including Swiss XXX in South Africa, The Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology in Russia and TBA21-Academy in New Zealand.

Collections

An original work by the artist was acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), one of the world's most prestigious art institutions, for their permanent collection.

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Practice overview

Claudia Comte’s nature-inspired practice offers a contemporary twist on modernist forms. The works are typically presented as large-scale installations and murals, and also span painting, sculpture and assemblage. To create her signature wood sculptures she begins by carving with a chainsaw, before then sanding and finishing the surface. 3D scanning and digital rendering are also used to experiment with compositions, and — for site-specific works — she creates detailed floor plans to carefully consider the architectural surroundings. With their stark monochrome colour palettes, hard-edged patterning and rolling features, the works recall a mix of references from Op artists such as Bridget Riley and modernists such as Barbara Hepworth.

Like biology itself, the artist visualises organic forms through systems, geometry and mathematics. These shapes and motifs resemble life on a molecular level. For instance, grid structures and repetitive flowing lines in works like I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019) and Curves and Zigzags (2017) recall a DNA helix, a sound wave, or the cell of a plant. Through this gesture, the artist alludes to the similarities between art and science, and posits her practice as its own ecosystem — a network of interconnected objects and patterns through which Comte reminds her audiences of their interconnected relationship with the organic world.

"Art makes you think. Too many people are watching TV and not thinking for themselves."Claudia Comte