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Palm Desert, California

Curves and Zigzags

A black and white painted wall creates an optical illusion in the California desert. 

Located in a seemingly random spot in the Palm Desert is a white wall measuring nearly 100 feet in length.  When viewed from straight on, the black markings that adorn the wall—as well as the wall itself—appear to be perfectly horizontal and flat. Moving over just an inch to the side, however, reveals that this is not the case.

From any other angle than straight on, it becomes clear that the large, white-painted wall curves and bends, and the long black “stripes” that run across it are in fact zig-zags.

The wall, entitled Curves and Zigzags, is the third part in a series of art instillations made by Claudia Comte, a German artist best known for her site-specific, scale and perception oriented work. Comte’s intention in the art series is to “examine what happens when two-dimensional painting is superimposed on three dimensional structures.”

Curves and Zigzags stands tall in the California desert as a reminder of the contrasts and the harmonies that exist between nature and culture, order and chaos, and geometric versus organic shapes in art.

Know Before You Go

The exhibit closed on April 30, 2017. It is no longer visible.