An Abstract Art Book (or a Print Installation?)

In "40 x 40," Swiss artist Claudia Comte translates her sculptures into a two-dimensional exploration of colors, grids, and bubble-letters.

Claudia Comte is known for installations that set geometric wooden sculptures against graphic, op-art backgrounds. Her recent credits include a 2015 solo show at New York’s Gladstone Gallery and a large-scale work at the entrance of this year’s Art Basel fair in Switzerland. Comte’s latest undertaking, a 416-page volume titled 40 x 40 (Edition Patrick Frey), houses two-dimensional versions of her work, and explores color and grid theories. Some pages are a sort of photo collage: Comte divided the space into even squares, illustrated them with black-and-white patterns, and on top layered images of her sculptures. Others are photograph-free, and instead toy with the possibilities created when shapes and colors intersect. On occasion a comic book accent—a bubble-letter zziip or boom—pops out from the centerfold, adding a playful pop-art note to the edition. In all, it’s a true artist’s book, a work in the guise of a tome. Like the frames of a film, Comte’s pages bleed together, narrating a story as abstract as her patterns.

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