Phi Foundation was founded in 2007 by Phoebe Greenberg (as DHC/ART) and is a non profit organisation dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art. The Foundation is housed in two beautiful heritage buildings in the centre of Montreal.
Phoebe Greenberg was raised in the family that run the substantial real estate company, Minto. She was formerly an experimental theatre actress and has produced several award winning films, including, the much praised, Next Floor and Oscar nominated, Incendies. Now, she is not only the head of DHC/ART, but also of the nearby, for profit, PHI centre for innovation; a multidisciplinary arts and culture organisation that cultivates all aspects of creation, development, production and dissemination.
Asked in an interview why she had decided to found her own private art space, Phoebe Greenberg responded:
“I think that my notion of how people were to interact with art here was slightly different than it would be at a larger museum or gallery. I was quite inspired by the Fondation Cartier in Paris, in terms of its many dimensions and its ability to exhibit and engage academically. I wanted a place to exchange ideas around contemporary art in a format closer to a foundation than a large museum”. She went on to add, that because the Foundation is not reliant on public funding the committee has greater freedom in the choices it is able to make when presenting its exhibitions.
Phi Foundation’s programming has met with critical acclaim both at home and internationally. Although it holds no permanent collection, every year two or three major exhibitions are offered, many public events, a forward thinking education programme and special collaborative events. These are all offered free of charge.
The gallery’s focus is on international contemporary work not otherwise seen in Montreal.
“We want to break down entrenched ideas of what contemporary art is and who it is for,”
says curator and managing director, Cheryl Sim.