Women in red top, standing looking in distance.

Leading with Women

Geneviève Cadieux: Barcelone

Experience an intriguing monumental work by one of Canada’s most celebrated women artists.

Supported by the Scotiabank Photography Program at the National Gallery of Canada.

Quebec artist Geneviève Cadieux’s Barcelone invites visitors and passersby to reflect on how personal interactions can affect us, especially during a global pandemic.

Cadieux observes and interprets the human dimension through her own lens. This work documents an uneasy interaction between two lovers, evoking a psychological tension that is particularly expressed in the woman’s body language. While the bright setting is devoid of any point of reference, images of the sun in various positions in the sky suggest the passing of the day and time.

Barcelone, whose title plays with the French and English words “seul” and “alone,” speaks to a state of detachment and distance, as well as a longing for moments of connection and embrace.

The sequence of nine large-scale photographs is a reworking of a key series produced by Cadieux in 2003. Reflecting the theatrical and cinematic conventions that lie at the heart of her artistic practice, Barcelone also highlights the changing nature of art, as society and current events continually inform and affect us.

I'm interested in how the passage of time is experienced in the work, and how that affects perception of an idea — whether expressed via sound, photography or video — as well as its resulting impact on visual and audio perception — Geneviève Cadieux


Wednesday, June 2, 2021 Tuesday, October 18, 2022


National Gallery of Canada Exterior along South façade
380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4

Geneviève Cadieux, Barcelone, 2003–21, installed at the National Gallery of Canada, 2021, inkjet prints on vinyl. © Geneviève Cadieux. Photo: NGC


About the


Geneviève Cadieux’s large-scale photographic images and installations centre on the representation of the human body and landscape, understood as a site of contact between mind and body. The manner in which she presents her work in museums and public spaces is inspired by theatrical and cinematic conventions, advertising strategies and their effect on individuals. She is interested in the integration of works of art within an urban milieu, their visibility, their impact on passersby, and how they define and identify a place.

Cadieux's work has been shown in numerous international group exhibitions, notably the Biennales in Montreal (1985, 1986 et 2000), São Paolo (1987), Sydney (1987, 1990) and Venice (1990). Her work has also been the subject of important solo exhibitions, including at the Centre d’art contemporain in Geneva, the ICA in Amsterdam (1991) and in London (1992), the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (1993), the MuHKA in Antwerp, the Bonner Kunstverein in Bonn, the Tate Gallery in London, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art (1995), the Pittsburgh Centre for the Arts (1996), the Kunstforeningen in Copenhagen (1997), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Americas Society in New York (2000), the Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris and the Frac Normandie (2001). She participated in The 59th Minute - Video Art in Times Square, New York (2002). Her works can be found in numerous public and private collections in Quebec, Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. 

Geneviève Cadieux is an Associate Professor of Photography in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montréal. She received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2011, was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2014, and was granted the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, Québec’s most prestigious arts award, in 2018.

Geneviève Cadieux

Photo: Béatrice Flynn


with Women

The Leading with Women series makes art more accessible by using the Gallery’s external walls and outdoor spaces. It also highlights the work of significant Canadian women artists represented in the national art collection. As part of this initiative, each year over the next three years, a newly commissioned work will be installed.


Unveiled in June 2021, Geneviève Cadieux’s Barcelone is the first work by a Canadian woman artist to be featured on the Gallery’s exterior. Next year, the work of interdisciplinary artist Deanna Bowen will be on view.




Quebec artist Geneviève Cadieux’s Barcelone invites visitors and passersby to reflect on how personal interactions can affect us, especially during a global pandemic.

Barcelone: In Conversation with Geneviève Cadieux

Discover Geneviève Cadieux’s monumental artwork Barcelone.  Join us for a conversation between the artist and Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Gallery.


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Supported by

Scotiabank Photography Program