Valentin Carron (b. 1977, Martigny, Switzerland) has become known for sculptural work in which ubiquitous cultural icons—particularly those associated with the rural area of his native Martigny, Switzerland—are transformed into objects brimming with humor and pathos. He appropriates seemingly ubiquitous forms and recreates them, so that objects emptied of their significance over time are re-energized and re-awakened. In some cases, anodyne modernist sculptures that originally existed in materials like stone are reimagined by Carron in synthetic ones like polystyrene, complete with trompe l’oeil effects that mimic the decaying forces of weather. In others, he utilizes natural materials like iron or bronze, introducing distortions and dramatic shifts in scale. Equal parts homage and iconoclasm, Carron's work is a materials-based critique of the relationship between the authentic and the fabricated, and between local and global modes of creative expression.
Valentin Carron represented Switzerland at the 55th Venice Biennale, Italy (2013). He has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous institutions worldwide, including Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2020); the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes and Galerie Art & Essai Université Rennes, France (2018); Overbeck Gesellschaft, Lübeck, Germany (2015); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2014); Fondation Louis Moret, Martigny, Switzerland (2014); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo La Conservera, Ceuti, Spain (2009); and Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2007). Group shows include Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France (2020); and the High Line, New York (2016). His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland; Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich. Carron lives and works in Martingy, Switzerland.