Cathy de Monchaux was born in London in 1960. She studied at Camberwell School of Art, London from 1980–83, and at Goldsmiths College, London from 1985–87. Cathy de Monchaux lives and works in London.
Selected exhibitions include: Cathy de Monchaux, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Directions: Cathy de Monchaux, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. (2000); Cathy de Monchaux, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, (1997). Cathy de Monchaux was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1998. She had a major solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1997) and further exhibitions in New York in 1998–99. In 2002, De Monchaux exhibited in her Hoxton home, At Home, in collaboration with Vince Clark and Martyn Ware.
In her sculptures, Cathy de Monchaux combines opposites. Hard and rough contrast with smooth and soft, as she places brass and steel against leather and velvet. These forms work in opposition to one another and deal with themes of repulsion and attraction. Spikes and jagged edges provide contrast to sumptuous curves and padded surfaces. Her imagery is sexual with an undercurrent of sexual restraint, hinting at the bordello muted eroticism. In the 1990's De Monchaux's work became larger, more assertive, pictorial and often wall-mounted. De Monchaux began to make works with a decorative sensibility. In recent installations, De Monchaux has added ephemeral elements such as patterns of powder or dust, which appear as shadowy traces of her sculptural forms. These traces add a sense of history and of decay. De Monchaux has also produced a series of sculptural works based on battle scenes between imaginary creatures, the magical aspect allowing the works to sit in any time of history anachronistically.