Suzy Lake as Gary William Smith by Suzy Lake
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Set of ten Gelatin silver prints
Signed and dated, in pencil, au recto of bottom right print
Printed in 1974
Suzy Lake began her art practice in 1968. Following the social and political unrest of the 1960’s she emigrated from Detroit to Montreal (1968), and then to Toronto in 1978. Active to the needs of her communities, she was a co-founder of Vehicule Art Inc. (Montreal, 1972) and the Toronto Photographers Workshop (Toronto, 1978). Concurrent to her practice, Lake taught for 40 years in Montreal, Toronto, and received Professor Emerita status from the University of Guelph in 2008.
Lake was among the first female artists in Canada to adopt performance, video, and photography to explore the politics of gender, the body, and identity. In 1993, she was the subject of a major mid-career retrospective, Point of Reference, organized by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in 1993. Suzy has participated in significant conceptual or feminist exhibitions such as: WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (LA MOCA and tour, 2007-08), Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, Suzy Lake, 1972-1978 (Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2007), Held Together With Water (Sammlung Verbund, Vienna and tour, 2008) and Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-80 (2010).
Suzy continues to address the relationship of the individual to societal forces in order to reveal constructions and restraints that have been built into our culture. In 2013, Suzy was awarded the Dazibao artist book prize and launched Suzy Lake: Performing an Archive in 2015. In 2014, the Art Gallery of Ontario presented a full-career retrospective with a substantial book titled Introducing Suzy Lake. In 2016, Lake received the Scotiabank Photography Award, recognition which includes a $50,000 prize, a catalogue by German publishing house Steidl, and a primary exhibition in the 2017 CONTACT Photography Festival at the Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto.
Suzy currently lives and makes work in Toronto.
Adapted from – SuzyLake.ca
This photograph is a vintage maquette, made as a unique edition. Using skills learned from printmaking, Lake incorporated masking agents, lith film, and pin-registered combination printing to create these images derived from several sources on a single photographic paper. Upon completion, she used these 11×14 inch prints to make 4×5 copy negatives (having been instructed by Gabor Szilasi on how to use a large format camera). She then used those negatives to print the large (approximately 40×30 inch) prints that comprise the full-scale editions. Both the full-scale and maquette versions are editioned 1 of 1.
This maquette was purchased by Toronto collectors at the Sable Castelli Gallery around 1975. We are honoured to be entrusted with helping to place this significant work of art.
Suzy Lake has been featured in the Toronto Star for Contact Photography Festival. Read the full article here.