Valentin Carron at the Swiss Pavilion, 2013 - photo credit Niklaus Stauss

Valentin Carron

Switzerland 1977


Valentin Carron
Valentin Carron
September 18, 2013

The artistic strategy of Valentin Carron might look like to one as a just a random and harmless production of series of beautified objects, yet underneath it lies a strong and precise concept full of references spanning from popular culture to social and political upheavals. His oeuvre is embedded in the gestures, interventions, appropriation and sarcasm and the overall approach reminiscent of the 70’s conceptual art. Carron is constantly eager to problematize and re-define the status of an artwork in simulate relation to the both past and present.

The gallery in Switzerland prepared Carron for Venice Biennale and that was covered by the press”
Valentin Carron – Installation view , Kunsthalle Zürich, 2007 – image via

Fast Recognition

Valentin Carron was born in Martigny in 1977. He attended the Cantonal School of Fine Arts (ECCO) in Sion from 1992 to 1999 and from 1997 to 2000, the Lausanne School of Fine Arts (ECAL). The growing success of a young artist was additionally confirmed by a large number of solo and group exhibitions and Overbeck Prize for Fine Art which he received in 2015. His works have become the part of several collections around the globe like Burger Collection in Hong Kong, The Rubell Family Collection in Miami, and Migros Museum in Zurich.

Humor and witt are essentials of Carron’s works

In 2014 the artist was represented by David Kordansky Gallery, galerie from Bern and New York
Valentin Carron – Solo exhibition at Praz-Delavallade gallery, 2010, Installation view – image via

The Principles of Conceptual Practice

Carron is known for his sculptural works which are permeate with symbols, forms of archaeological discoveries, as well as sculptural works of well-known models such as Alberto Giacometti. The inserted references become a perfect tool for building his own appropriative pictorial and sign system. [1]Throughout the works, Carron is questioning the idea of national identity and tradition by a humorous use of vernacular and before mentioned method of appropriation. The motives which are often drawn from phenomenon’s like Pop Art and kitsch are in function of molding the mass-produced aesthetic with underlying social commentary.

Minimal installments are one of Carron’s features

 ” The press published his works from galerie spaces in Switzerland, New York, Bern Kunsthalle and Venice Biennale
Valentin Carron – The dirty grey cube.., 2012, Installation view – image via

The Controversy Surrounding Carron’s Work

Besides his works being commented and reviewed, Carron was seriously accused of plagiarism. Namely, it was stated that his work The Dawn presented at Fiac 2014 was a replica of a 1977 steel artwork by Francesco Marino di Teana, L’Aube (dawn in French), which is displayed in front of Neuchatel art and history museum. Certainly, this was just an act of Carron’s continuous appropriation method and several major curators and certain press stood behind his work. That is the usual gesture of referring to someone’s work by using almost the same form, yet deploying it in a completely different context which is a not a rare phenomenon in art history.[2]

The oddities of white cube

 ” New York gallery established a connection with curator David from Bern galerie for new Carron project
Valentin Carron – Deux épaisseurs un coin, 2016, Installation view – image via

The Representative of Swiss Pavilion

In 2013 Valentin Carron was chosen to represent national pavilion at the prestigious 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale de Venezia. The artist managed to form strong formal language by introducing readymade aesthetic mixed with ideals of traditional Swiss Alpine imagery. In several attempts during their modern history, Swiss authorities fabricated traditional imagery and appointed it to certain parts of the country in order to gain larger tourism and straighten national identity. Therefore, by accentuating these details Carron is proposing a different discourse in regards to the matter of originality and fake of not only an artwork but rather of the national identity and capitalism. This participation enabled him to exhibit even more and positioned him as an aspiring and successful artist. Without any doubt, Carron governess his career in the sense of wisely thought concepts and ideas which are executed properly in regards to his agenda based on dematerialisation and re-contextualization of an artwork.

Valentin Carron lives and works in Geneva.


  1. Delpine, K. (2015): Valentin Carron by Clément Delépine – How to modernize your medium, Bomb Magazine [Decembre 30 2016]
  2. Miliard, C.: Swiss Artist Valentin Carron Accused of Plagiarism, Artnet [Decembre 30 2016]

Featured image: Valentin Carron at the Swiss Pavilion, 2013 – photo credit Niklaus Stauss
All other images for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2016Deux épaisseurs un coinCentre d’Edition Contemporain, Geneva, SwitzerlandSolo
2016A comb a hole David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2016OverbeckGesellschaft Lübeck Kunstverein, Lübeck, GermanySolo
2016WanderlustTHe High Line, New York, NY, USAGroup
2015L'Autoroute du soleil à MinuitKamel Mennour, ParisSolo
2015Work Hard, curated by Valentin CarronSwiss Institute, New York, NY, USAGroup
2014Music is a s-s-serious thing303 Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2014Do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la, si, doKunsthalle Bern, SwitzerlandSolo
2014Ciao muddy Plain Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich SwitzerlandSolo
2014Valentin CarronFondation Louis Moret, Martigny, SwitzerlandSolo
2014Elevation 1049, curated by Neville Wakefield and Olympia Scarry Gstaad, SwitzerlandGroup
201355th International Art ExhibitionLa Biennale de Venezia, Swiss Pavilion, Venice, ItalySolo
2013A Sunday in the Mountain - curated by Gianni JetzerSwiss Institute, New YorkGroup
2012Valentin CarronDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012The dirty grey cube (you) turns around sadly and screams at us (he) ‘ca-tarac-ta303 Gallery, New YorkSolo
2012The Perfect Show303 Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2011Fade WalterGalerie Rodolphe Jansen, BrusselsSolo
2011Tranches de SavoirCultural Services of the French Embassy, New YorkGroup
2010Pergola: MonsieurPalais du Tokyo, ParisSolo
2010Valentin CarronPraz-Delavallade, ParisSolo
2010Optical shift. Illusion and Deception b-05 Kunst und Kulturzentrum Association, Montabaur, GermanyGroup
2009Valentin CarronGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
2009Valentin Carron303 Gallery, New YorkSolo
2009THE CANNERYCeuti, Spain in collaboration with Pablo del ValSolo
2009Valentin CarronPublic Art Projects, Art Basel 40, Basel, SwitzerlandSolo
2009Valentin Carron, FOD, Manu Muniategiandikoetxea, Eva Rothschild and Gert & Uwe TobiasLa Conserveraa, Ceutí, SpainGroup
2008Nous ne marcherons plus jamais seuls – Âpre Mont Centre Culturel Suisse, ParisSolo
2008Luisant de sueur et de brillantineViafarini, MilanSolo
2008Hard HatVilla Flora, Geneva, SwitzerlandSolo
2008Valentin Carron: Héroïque Horizon L'elac. l 'espace lausannois d'art contemporain, Renens, SwitzerlandSolo
2008Hard HatGeneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2007Valentin CarronKunsthalle Zürich, ZurichSolo
2007La Ténèbre et l'Azur'GalériePraz-Delavallade, ParisSolo
2007The Third MindPalais de Toyko, Paris, FranceGroup
2006Dé chéance, élégance, déhanchementSwiss Institute, New YorkSolo
2006Valentin Carron vs Mai -ThuPerret Chisenhale Gallery, Solid Objects’, LondonSolo
2006In den AlpenKunsthaus Zürich, ZurichGroup
2005Rellik Galerie Eva Presenhuber, ZurichSolo
2005Mai-Thu Perret versus Valentin CarronCentre d’ Art contemporain, GenevaSolo
2005HIP, HIP, YOU’RE RAWAlimentation Generale, Art Contemporain Nosbaum & Reding, LuxembourgSolo
2005Fer de LanceGalerie Francesca Pia, BerneSolo
2005Its All an IllusionMigrosmuseum, ZurichGroup
2004Art Statement Art Basel 35Solo
2004Land Crusade Galerie Evergreen, GenevaGroup
2005La Piste NoireGalerie Loevenbruck, ParisSolo
2003Valentin CarronGalerie Praz-Delavallade, ParisSolo
2003FreelandeerAlimentation Générale, LuxembourgSolo
2002Sweet RevolutionFri Art, FribourgSolo
2002Jeep heep heepGalerie Francesca Pia, BerneSolo
2002Land overFAC, SierreSolo
2002After the hunting rushCircuit, LausanneSolo
2002Valentin CarronGalerie Kamm, BerlinSolo
2001La conduite du Rucher MAMCO, GenevaSolo
2001Easy Glissing Glassbox, ParisSolo
2000TurboLe studio CAN, NeuchâtelSolo