Suzy Lake has been examining and critiquing ideals of the body, gender, and identity since the late 1960s. In her photographs, videos, and performances, she draws attention to social norms and constraints and aims to diminish the barrier between the viewer and the artwork.
Introducing Suzy Lake follows the artist in images across five decades, as her political ideals are forged in Detroit’s civil rights movement in the late 1960s; as she realizes her first successes in Montreal’s artist-led cultural boom of the 1970s in the post-Expo 67, post-Duplessis era; and since 1978 in Toronto, as she finds her home and hones her artistic vision. Influenced by artists such as Cindy Sherman, Lake’s work demonstrates the innovation and continued influence of the “Feminist Avant-Garde” on contemporary art.
Introducing Suzy Lake features almost 100 reproductions of Lake’s photographs, some drawn from celebrated installations, others from newly commissioned series. Complemented by essays by Allyson Mitchell, Robert Longo, Elizabeth Smith, Michelle Jacques, and Sara Angel, Introducing Suzy Lake reveals the richness and originality of Lake’s work and her stature as one of North America’s most influential contemporary artists.
About the author
Georgiana Uhlyarik is the Frederik S. Eaton curator, Canadian Art, in the department of Indigenous and Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.