new-york

View of “Claudia Comte,” 2015.

Claudia Comte

Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

View of “Claudia Comte,” 2015.

On a frigid day in March, Claudia Comte’s exhibition “NO MELON NO LEMON” provided a welcome respite from the gray of overcast skies and concrete construction. The yellow-and-white-striped paintings hanging on yellow-and-white-striped walls made the room feel sun blasted, the burnout effect pleasingly tempered by charred plywood panels banded by vertical cuts. Lustrous wood totems à la Jean Arp and Brancusi stood on plinths that seemed to have folded out from the panels, revealing the white wall beneath. These plinths, the strongest component of the exhibition, reinforced the tactility of both the smooth sculptures and their rough bases, even as they lent the installation a provisional character, as if the entire structure could have been flat-packed for shipping. They also drew attention to the artist’s commanding sense of scale: Their proportions made the cavernous gallery space

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