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Features / March 1, 1990

Geneviève Cadieux: Skin Deep

Framed by intellect, grounded in emotion, the works of Geneviève Cadieux have a haunting quality, a certain knowing anxiety. As Canada’s sole representative at the prestigious Venice Biennale (May 27 through September 30), Cadieux’s installations using large-scale color photographs recall both the heroic traditions of painting and the glamor of mass-media advertising. The work is personal yet conceptually charged, and whether or not one is fortified with readings on “the gaze,” the viewer as subject, the body as site, the whole arsenal of semiotic and critical theory, there is no denying the work’s stature and sensual power.

To some extent, Cadieux is already known in Europe, having been singled out for applause in Fokus: Canadian, an overview of recent Canadian art presented at the Cologne International Art Fair in November 1986. Important pieces were included the following year in the exhibition Emotope in West Berlin at the Staatsbibliotek and the XIX Bienal de Sao Paolo in Brazil, as well as the 1988 Biennale of Sydney in Australia. But Cadieux is poised for much greater international response, for in addition to a New York show at the Fawbush Gallery in 1990 she is included in a large outdoor exhibition in Newcastle, England, and in Passage de l’image, mounted and toured by the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She also has solo exhibitions scheduled in 1991 at the Kunstraum München and at the Centre d’art contemporain in Geneva, and in 1992, a solo exhibition is slated at the excellent Nouveau Musée in Villeurbanne, France. In all, a remarkable trajectory.

So begins our Spring 1990 cover story. To keep reading, view a PDF of the entire article.