Urgent Museum Notice

Cathy de Monchaux

Born in 1960

De Monchaux was born in London, where she still lives and works. She completed her Master’s degree at Goldsmith’s College, alma mater of  the “young British Artists (YBAs)”  who dominated the British Art scene in the 1990s. Despite certain parallels with the YBAs, de Monchaux is not accurately grouped with them. Whereas those artists certainly sought to shock their audiences, de Monchaux focuses more on seduction, using sensuous materials and obsessive detail to invite myriad associations by viewers.

The artist’s intricately constructed sculptures evoke conflicting experiences: soft and hard, welcoming and repulsive, sexually suggestive and restrained. Her materials and processes have led to critical associations of de Monchaux’s art with the surrealist objects of Meret OppenheimEva Hesse’s eccentric abstractions, medieval architecture, and Victorian brothels, among other possible references.

De Monchaux was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize in 1998 and has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally. She teaches part-time at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Cathy de Monchaux
  • Birth

    London, 1960

Works by Cathy de Monchaux


Resembling armor or weaponry, Cathy de Monchaux’s sculptures present combinations of incongruous elements that imbue them with visual and emotional intensity. The heavy brass clamps and compressed layers of velvet within her large oval floor piece Red suggest a forcible and thus unsettling containment. The folds of fabric that form the concave interior of the sculpture evoke human orifices and viscera, a...

An oval, vessel-shaped sculpture features a concave interior of concentric, ruby-red velvet folds. Twelve evenly spaced, red leather straps adorned with brass hardware radiate from the center. They appear to restrain the interior and anchor the piece to the floor.