Michel Comte's Erosion I & II on view at Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, May 27, 2024

Michel Comte's Erosion I & II on view at Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne
Michel Comte, Erosion, 2018. Porcelain, rock salt, rock flour and mineral pigments, 33 × 33 × 10 cm. Photo: Courtesy the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.

LUCERNE.- "If you halt the erosion of humankind, humankind will halt the erosion of the soil." – Chandi Prasad Bhatt, environmental activist

One of the most drastic consequences of climate change is massive erosion following extreme weather events. It is the title and leitmotif of Michel Comte’s two exhibitions, Erosion I and Erosion II, which will open this fall/winter at the Galerie Urs Meile in Lucerne and at the artist’s studio in Uetikon am See, Switzerland.

Comte once described his works as “gentle reminders of reality”, as he uses them to draw attention to climate change. His nearly sacred-looking works of art strive to capture the sublimity of what threatens to disappear soon, or has already vanished. In the process Comte primarily tries to instigate an awareness of the impacts of our actions on our environment, while inspiring us to lead simpler, more sustainable lives. Only if we change ourselves, our lifestyles and our consumer behavior will we gain the opportunity to slow the progress of environmental destruction.

Erosion I
Erosion. The eponymous series of works Erosion encompasses 22 ceramic works (2018, porcelain, rock salt, rock dust and mineral pigments, 33 x 33 x 10 cm each). The darker works are fired with ground rock and coal. Their surfaces are reminiscent of the layer of rust on glaciers, which can be traced back to industrial coal burning that has also been causing the glaciers to melt since the nineteenth century. A mix of salt, rock dust, and pigments lend the lighter works their coloring. The salt refers to the increasing salinization of the oceans, which is occurring due to the change in the hydrologic cycle (evaporation, precipitation, and circulation) caused by global warming. Rock dust is the result of the immense pressure glacial ice exerts upon the boulders below it.

Ombre. (2018, distilled water on handmade, raw rice paper, 66 x 66 cm). Comte had a pigment relief made of each of the 33 x 33 x 10-cm ceramic pieces on handmade rice paper from one of Beijing’s oldest paper manufacturers. Dampened with distilled water, the white rice paper is pressed upon the ceramics for several hours. Pressing the pigment against the surface texture of the blocks for more than seventeen hours results in a permanent image on the paper. The sensuous, delicate paper topographies thus produced resemble endless, snow-covered mountain landscapes.

Drifts. With this installation of fourteen cast glass sculptures measuring 20 to 75 centimeters, Drifts (2020, coldworking glass, variable dimensions), Comte presents his newest series of works. From a distance, the individual pieces look like raw rocks. Seen from close up, however, the fascinating interiors of the sculptures open up to the viewer, revealing a similarity to ice formations or crystals, so that they resemble living creatures created by nature. The title, Drifts, refers to the rocks and sediment that emerge through the erosion, shifting and debris of glaciers.

Comte’s Drifts are connected to his group of sculptures, Untitled (Murano Glass Mountains, 2017, handcrafted Murano glass, granite dust, 40 x 29 x 20 cm, edition of 2 + I AP), which are also featured in the show. The four pieces, made of handcrafted Murano glass resemble massifs and were first presented in 2017 as part of the exhibition Black Light, White Light at the Triennale di Milano.

Wood Prints. “What would human life be without forests, those natural cities?” asked the American author Henry David Thoreau. With Wood Prints (2020, black ink print on paper, 42 x 29.7 cm each), a series of black Japanese ink woodcuts on paper, Comte’s theme is the die-off of trees in the present time. As a result of environmental changes, commercial exploitation, and systemic neglect of forests, the ‘lungs of the earth’ are in serious danger. Their greatest threats are fires, storms, parasites, unsustainable forestry methods and extensive logging.

Erosion II
Glacier Terminus. Glacier Terminus (2019, ink, pigment, acrylic on iron metal panel, 246 x 121 x 7.5 cm) stretches along a 25-meter-long, 1.2-meter high wall in the artist’s studio. The work is made up of 21 iron plates treated with forty to sixty layers of ink, acrylic paint, salt dust, and oxidized carbon in a months-long process. The source of inspiration is the vanishing face of the 14th of July glacier in northwestern Spitsbergen, which Comte has visited several times in the past.

Black Light I-II, White Light I-III. The floor installation features impressive photographs of the Swiss glaciers Val Roseg, Aletsch, and Morteratsch (2017, pigment print on cotton paper, wood container, resin, tempered glass, mineral material, 15 x 250 x 180 cm, edition of two). Printed on very thin, delicate cotton, the large photographs are stretched on specially made frames with a mirrored back wall and black glazing. The photographs show the breathtaking beauty of nature’s drama and - at the same time - humankind’s harsh treatment of high mountain landscapes.

Erosion [wood](2019, Japanese ink on wood, variable dimensions). Another floor installation made of eleven wooden beams between one and four meters long and treated with black Japanese ink, Erosion is the counterpart of the ink prints in the gallery show. They refer to the large amount of driftwood in alpine rivers, which results from the processes of erosion in mountainous regions.

Single Stone (Requiem). Comte presented the installation (2017, black granite, 40 x 40 x 40 cm, edition of two) for the first time at the MAXXI Museum in Rome. The gradually vanishing texture of a glacier is projected onto a large piece of granite placed in the center of a large, dark room, until finally all that is left is the denuded, gray stone. Sound recordings of breaking, cracking glacial ice fill the space with a claustrophobic, disturbing atmosphere.

Salt and Dust and Stoneworks. Besides the large, three-dimensional installations, Comte also presents two smaller series of works. The different-sized paintings from the series Salt and Dust (2018, mineral pigments, rock salt, coal on rice paper [fermented type] mounted on wooden board, 33 x 33 x 4 cm and 280 x 170 x 8 cm) are mounted on wood, covered in Chinese paper, and produced in an elaborate process using salt, carbon, and more than sixty layers of pigment. The light-colored works are also treated with crushed shells and stones. A second group of works, Stoneworks (2020, black ink on paper, variable dimensions) encompasses a number of ink collages and cut-outs. These are meditative studies of rocks and cliffs that the artist has encountered in nature, and which have awakened his interest and inspired him.

Today's News

November 21, 2020

LaiSun Keane opens an exhibition featuring contemporary Japanese women artists

Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao examines the career of Vasily Kandinsky

$30.5 million Impressionist & Modern Art Day sale smashes record for an online auction at Sotheby's

Exhibition explores Henri Matisse's ongoing relationship with black and white

Jeffrey Deitch opens an exhibition of works by Robert Longo

Sprüth Magers opens an exhibition of ten large-scale photographs by Cindy Sherman

Whitney presents exhibition of Kamoinge Workshop photographers

UN culture agency pitches heritage mission to Nagorno-Karabakh

Romare Bearden collages lead African American Art at Swann

Exhibition highlights more than 200 years of German art

Rare, sealed 'Super Mario Bros. 3' variant breaks record for world's most expensive video game

Exhibition of new work by Arturo Herrera opens at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Memorabilia from Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and more to go up for auction

New from powerHouse Books: The Boys Photographs and Text by Rick Schatzberg

Tampa Museum of Art highlights African American artists in "Living Color"

Amon Carter Museum acquires Wendy Red Star's "Accession"

Abolitionist is earliest Black Londoner honored with blue plaque

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle auction spotlights 36 years of 'turtle power'

Jan Myrdal, Swedish author and provocateur, dies at 93

Michel Comte's Erosion I & II on view at Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne

MOCA GA opens Working Artist Project Fellow Ariel Dannielle's solo exhibition 'It Started So Simple'

Solo show of works by Lisa Brice opens at GEM, museum of contemporary art

Exhibition celebrates the 98th birthday of renowned photographer Tony Vaccaro

Special installation offers intimate look at museum's popular treasure from Stettheimer Family

Utility Defined: How Can A Baby Change Table Help You?

Wheel and Tire Package

Arts and crafts: from hobby to career

Black Friday with CanvasWAY

Tips to choose the best online flower delivery service

What are the advantages of gaming?

How To Choose The Best Projector For Artists

Toto for picking your favorite sport

How to choose the best plumber there is?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful