Preview Day: 4 NOVEMBER 2021
Public Days: 5 - 7 NOVEMBER 2021

KÖNIG GALERIE is pleased to announce Claudia Comte’s solo presentation at this year’s Artissima. Blaze (leaves and sparks), is an environmental installation incorporating a new series of paintings and sculptures set against an immersive wall painting depicting a blazing inferno. The exhibition highlights the artists multidisciplinary approach to art making and commitment to creating imaginative forms and landscapes that bring attention to the wondrous world of woodland spaces and the critical issues of global warming and threatened biodiversity.

In Blaze (leaves and sparks), seven new wooden sculptures, in softly outlined leaf shapes, stand, lean and lie somewhat precariously against a spray-painted backdrop of realistically rendered flames. For this series, Comte worked with three types of wood species; elm, platanus and pear, which she sourced from naturally fallen trees near her home town of Grancy, Switzerland over a decade ago. True to Comte’s practice, the sculptures were carved by chainsaw to create forms in her playful, idiosyncratic style with each piece undergoing a meticulous process of grinding and sanding to achieve its pristinely smoothed surface. This is a vital stage in Comte’s process as it enables her to reveal the special hidden quality of the material; cracks and fissures included. In these sculptures, the soft pale pink and visible pores of the pear wood are brought to the surface as well as the intricate lacework grain of both the platanus and elm. Comte’s leaf sculptures made from fallen trees are perfectly self-reflexive, they are images of their own substance, and symbolic of an eternal cyclic renewal; life, death, rebirth.

Comte also unveils seven new paintings from her Turn and Slip series. These works consist of round canvases that she paints in flat, monochromatic gradients in a continuous, circular motion with custom-made brushes. In this new series the artist has incorporated multiple colors for the very first time. The outcome is reminiscent of growth rings that appear in the cross section of tree trunks.

Claudia Comte’s work is defined by a careful observation of nature and her interest in how the hand relates to different technologies and materials. She is best known for her site-specific installations, which incorporate a diverse range of media from sculpture to painting. The artist’s practice is guided by a distinct rule-measurement system of her own creation, wherein each artwork specifically relates to the others. Comte’s minimalist approach to art-making is equal parts methodical and dynamic; works are infused with a distinct sense of playfulness as well as reverence for the natural environment and its shifting patterns.

Claudia Comte (b. 1983) is a Swiss artist living and working in the countryside close to Basel, Switzerland. She studied at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, ECAL and received a Master of Art in Science of Education from the Haute Ecole Pédagogique, Visual Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland in 2010. Selected exhibitions include those at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Castello dir Rivoli, Turin, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, The Glasgow International Biennale, Messeplatz, Art Basel, Basel, The Bass Museum of Art in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach, and the Museum of Contemporary art, Cleveland. Comte’s works is included in permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Kunstmuseum, Luzern, The Baltimore Museum, The Julius Baer Collection, Switzerland and The UBS Art Collection, Switzerland, among others.

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