washington-dc

Cathy de Monchaux

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

It is entirely fitting that Cathy de Monchaux creates sculptural constructions specifically to be installed in comers of rooms. Her objects do not just hang on the wall or sit on the floor: They lurk, lying in wait to trap the viewer’s gaze in lush, velvety folds or to impale it on spiky latticework. Because most of de Monchaux’s pieces are hung at eye level, they invite dose inspection. Surrendering to the impulse to approach for the near view, however, is often rewarded with the unsettling feeling that you have gotten too close to something you shouldn’t be seeing.

The hallmarks of de Monchaux’s art of the last four years, the period covered by the Hirshhorn’s exhibition of eleven sculptures, include juxtapositions of recessive or protruding fleshy structures, often reminiscent of sexual organs, that are adorned with velvet, fur, restrictive metal hardware, and leather straps. Red, 1999,

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