View of “Claudia Comte,” 2015–16. Photo: Alexander Hana.

View of “Claudia Comte,” 2015–16. Photo: Alexander Hana.

Claudia Comte


View of “Claudia Comte,” 2015–16. Photo: Alexander Hana.

Back in art school, Claudia Comte’s classmates called her la tronçonneuse, Miss Chainsaw. She hates the nickname, but there’s no question that she’s a virtuoso of the rip and call of the saw. There’s a tension between this more or less brutal tool and the extraordinary craft demonstrated in her work. For her most recent solo show, “Sonic Geometry,” she installed nine sculptures from the series “Giant Bones,” 2015: animal bones scaled up to dinosaur scope in polished olive wood, sitting on (or in) black wooden cubes. All had been cut freehand with chain saws before being sanded down, revealing the knots or, as Germans say, the Augen (literally “eyes”) in the timber. Even more remarkably, the perfectly parallel grooves that striate the surface of the cubes were hand cut with a chain saw as well.

Around the walls was mounted a series of circular monochrome paintings, from the series

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