Delphine Coindet
Le cyclope (Cyclops), 2011

  • Delphine Coindet (Albertville, 1969)
  • Le cyclope (Cyclops), 2011
  • Machine tool, fabric, metal, glass, dimensions variable
  • Gift of the artist, 2014
  • Inv. 2014-006
  • © Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne

After studying at the École des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, and at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques, Paris, Delphine Coindet spent several years in Lausanne, where she was an active member of the artist-run space Circuit and a teacher at École cantonale d’art in Lausanne.

Le cyclope was created in her studio in Lausanne. Part found object, part surrealist assemblage, the sculpture is ‘as beautiful as the fortuitous encounter on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella’, to quote Lautréamont’s well-known observation taken up by André Breton. It is a machine tool, a relic of the studio’s industrial past, with two rectangles of blue cloth draped over it, hiding it completely. One of the rectangles is blue synthetic velvet, the other cotton canvas edged with glass buttons held on by small gilded metal chains.

The machine draped with fabric suggests a series of contrasts – solid / soft, rough / smooth, utilitarian / decorative – deconstructed by the fabric hiding the machine: the sculpture is simultaneously on view and hiding from view. While the title evokes its anthropomorphic shape and the question of perception, the cyclops of Greek mythology with one eye in the middle of his forehead also points to the monstrous creature’s link with metalworking, and hence to the ‘soul’ of Coindet’s sculpture. The artist is heir to the legacies of both assemblage and minimalist sculpture, imbuing what seem to be abstract sculptures with all the poetry, theatricality and tactility that had been stripped from them. As she wrote in a note of intent when she was artist in residence at the Villa Medicis in Rome in 2011–12, ‘Sculpture is an art of transition and I am interested first and foremost in it as an incomplete form’.



Maëla Bescond, Maëva Blandin et alii, Delphine Coindet. Périmètre étendu, Paris, Les presses du réel, 2013.

Sylvie Coëllier, ‘Diamants et solitaires. Les meilleurs amis de Delphine Coindet,’ 20/27, n. 4, 2010: 117-139.

Xavier Douroux, Julien Fronsacq and Michel Gauthier, Delphine Coindet, exh. cat. Lyon, La salle de bain, Dijon, Les presses du réel, 2006.