With Tainted with Strangeness I developed an imagery of monsters that pays heed to a fruitful acquaintance with experience, personal, and memory. To consume flowers, to palpate water, to embrace birds, these actions unfold unfamiliarity. In my artworks, the construction of these subjects invokes a social relationship of kinship where the force relations signifies a boundary breakdown. Fragments of animals, insects and plants embody matter and generate a rizhomatic structure that affects the flourishment of their fluidity. A power of affect relinquishes by the potential of these bodies and the patterns disintegrate their association with anthropocentrism. Ghosts of the future. Possibilities of the movement. Erasure of the personalities.
– Cindy Phenix, 2020
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, USA) completed her BFA at Concordia University in Montreal in 2016 and her MFA at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in 2020. Her work will be exhibited in the forthcoming exhibition “While we’re at it” at 6018North in Chicago and has been included in solo exhibitions at Galerie Hugues Charbonneau in Montreal, Maison de la culture de Longueuil and Nino Mieir Gallery in Los Angeles. Phenix’s works are included in the collections of the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (CPOA), the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec, Claridge and Hydro-Québec.