Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects Contemporary Art Auction
April 13, 2015
SUZY LAKE, R.C.A.
Donated by the artist; sold to benefit the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1947, Suzy Lake is one of a pioneering group of visual artists to adopt performance, video and photography in order to explore the politics of body, gender and identity. Upon completing her studies she immigrated to Montréal in 1968. Almost ten years later, she completed a Master of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University. She is largely self-taught in the fields of film, photography, video and performance art. Lake was Guido Molinari’s studio assistant in the early 1970s, and was an active member of the Montréal artistic communities throughout that decade. She cofounded the artist-run avant-garde gallery Véhicule Art Inc. in 1972.
Lake was profoundly influenced by the social and political movements of the 1960s and 70s. She is recognized for her large-scale photography, which reflects the politics of feminism and femininity, referencing the body as both subject and device. She is often compared to the prolific photographer Cindy Sherman for making appearances in her own art and manipulating her visual identity in order to address the constructs of fashion and beauty. Indeed, she practices a form of conceptual art that uses photography more as a means of communication and inquiry than a record of reality.
Lake has had an extensive exhibition career, with successful shows in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Her work is represented in many public collections, including those of the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto); the Musée d'art Contemporain (Montréal); and the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo (New York). Most recently in 2014, a retrospective of her career was hosted by the Art Gallery of Ontario.