Studio Sunday: Claudia Comte

A photo of Claudia Comte at work on a large wood sculpture


Berlin-based artist Claudia Comte is known for large-scale works made from wood, sometimes in its natural form and other times manipulated through detailed sculpture or painting. Given the massive scale of many of her works, the artist often works in open spaces, or creates work directly in a gallery space.


The artist has said in interviews that she often works outdoors -- in the forest -- because her equipment and process tends to create a lot of noise. Comte often uses power tools, including chainsaws, sanders, and other woodworking equipment, to create her pieces. It’s fascinating to see the level of precision and smoothness that the artist is able to achieve on such a large scale. Some of her wood objects remind me of sculptures by Derek Bencomo.


Judging from the heavy jacket she’s wearing in this photo, I would guess that the artist continues to work outdoors year round, showing an admiral dedication to her practice. I would imagine that working outdoors in the cold with heavy tools might lend a sense of urgency to completing the work. One would have to be very focused to work on such a large sculpture.


The scale that Comte works at, in addition to the way the artist tends to favour the natural colours and textures of her materials, reminds me of sculptures by Martin Puryear. I can also imagine that the artist’s studio would look something like that of David Nash -- except that Comte’s would be a real, outdoor forest.

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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