Cindy Phenix’s work focuses on the relationship between the public and private spheres. She explores the various norms that govern them, the dynamic of their coexistence, the power relations they are the site of and the emotions they trigger. To this end, the artist creates complex scenes that convey powerful narrative and affective movements.
Phenix draws her inspiration from participation/discussion groups that she organizes and leads. Through collaborative projects and shared experiences, these groups aim to raise awareness of feminine experience. At first, the women are led to interact with artworks, to take part in games and to position their bodies in installations created by the artist. They are then invited to share anecdotes and reflections as part of the discussions that Phenix guides. The bodily performances and stories shared in the process serve as fertile analysis ground for the artist who reinterprets them in her compositions.
Cindy Phenix’s paintings generate a palpable formal tension. Some surfaces are made up of gestural and abstract impastos, while others—left untouched—reveal the raw potential of the canvass. Painted zones are juxtaposed with drawn lines and take us into paradoxical spaces. Many characters, depicted in transformed complexions and bodies, interact here. The ambitious and ambiguous displays and the broad spectrum of techniques that Phenix puts to the task give rise to a dazzling emotional charge.
Cindy Phenix (b. 1989 in Montreal, Canada; lives and works in Chicago) received her MFA in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in 2020 and her BFA with distinction from Concordia University in 2016. Phenix’s works have been included in many exhibitions: Nino Mier (Los Angeles), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), and Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (Montreal). Phenix’s works are part of private collections in the US and Canada including Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec and Hydro-Québec. In 2015, Cindy Phenix was listed as one of finalists for RBC‘s Canadian Painting Competition.