Cathy de Monchaux

Born 1960

Artist Details

Birth Place
Sculpture; Photograph
Places of Residence
Goldsmiths College, London, 1985–87; Camberwell School of Art, London, 1980–83
Retrospective Exhibitions

Cathy de Monchaux, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 2000; Directions: Cathy de Monchaux, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., 2000; Cathy de Monchaux, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1997

NMWA Exhibitions

Revival, 2017
Telling Secrets: Codes, Captions, and Conundrums in Contemporary Art, 2009
Modern Love: Gifts to the Collection from Heather and Tony Podesta, 2008

About the Artist

Cathy de Monchaux creates provocative sculptures of seemingly incongruous materials, like leather, fur, velvet, chalk dust, and brass. 

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 Oppenheim, Eva 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.

National Museum of Women in the Arts