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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; both books are available through Amazon. In 2017, the Scotiabank Photography Award published a monograph of her work with Steidl Publishing. <>.

Suzy currently lives and makes work in Toronto. 

Activities and Achievements

2021     Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award Nomination
2021     Art Canada Institute Online Book Launch. Suzy Lake: Life and Work by Dr. Erin Silver. <>.
2016     Scotiabank Photography Award
2016     Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts  
2013     Dazibao Artist Book Prize launched Suzy Lake: Performing an Archive (2015)
2014     Art Gallery of Ontario Full Career Retrospective: Introducing Suzy Lake
2012 - Present     Represented by Georgia Scherman Projects
2011     Political Poetics (and tour), University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto; curated by Matt Brower and Carla Garnet 
2008     Professor Emerita, University of Guelph
2007     WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (and tour), Los Angeles, Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California, curated by Connie Butler
2007     Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynne Hershman and Suzy Lake 1972-1978, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, California, curated by Jori Finkel
2004     Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts
2000      Kodak Lecture Series, Ryerson University
1997     Greater Toronto Arts Foundation, Visual Arts Award
1994 - 2011     Represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
1993     A Point of Reference, Retrospective Exhibition & Tour, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography of the National Gallery of Canada
1991     Named "Honourary Friend of the Teme Augama Anishnabai" (Bear Island Band) for exhibition and agit/prop support for their land claim
1989     Named Honorary Vice President, "Mois de la Photo"
1988 - 2008     University of Guelph, Full Time Faculty
1978 - 1983     Toronto Photographers Workshop, board member (founding member through Toronto Photographer's Co-op)
1977 - 1988     Represented by the Sable Castelli Gallery, Toronto
1975 - 1978     Concordia/Loyola Photographer's Workshop, Animateur
1974 - 1978     Represented by Galerie Gilles Gheerbrant, Montreal
1971 - 1976     Vehicule Art Inc. (Montreal), Founding Member and Board Member
1969 - 1976     Montreal Museum School of Art, Full Time and Sessional Instructor

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