Born in Detroit, Michigan, Suzy lake began her undergraduate studies at Wayne State University at the time of civil rights and anti war protests. Following the Detroit riots in 1967, she immigrated to Montreal. Despite a classical training, Lake was among the first female artists to adopt performance, video and photography in order to explore the politics of gender, the body and identity in Canada. Suzy Lake's videos are in the collection of major Canadian museums and universities. She was one of 13 artists to found Vehicule Art Inc. in 1972. She later obtained her MFA from Concordia. In 1978, Lake moved to Toronto and became active with the Toronto Photographer’s Co-Op, which later became Gallery TPW. She was awarded the Toronto Visual Arts Award in 1997 for both her artistic merit and her teaching.
Although the majority of Lake's work finalizes in the medium of photography, it is a performative language that directs the image, sensibility and format. Her work has continued to use the body as either its subject or its device. Recent work investigates ageing and ageism. Her work was the subject of a major mid-career retrospective organized by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in 1993. Suzy’s early video and photographic work was featured in Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershmann and Suzy Lake 1972-1978 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2007. Also in 2007, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art included Suzy's early work in WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution 1965-1980. The exhibition toured major US cities plus the Vancouver Art Gallery. The University of Toronto Art Centre will tour Suzy Lake: Political Poetics, a themed survey show in 2011
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