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Canadian Art  
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In addition, the reception of gay and lesbian art has sometimes been impeded by an exceptionally conservative art community. The work of such artists as Paul Wong, Evergon, and Marc Paradis has sometimes been censored or greeted with derision as a result of its same-sex eroticism. In an unfortunate case, the painter Eli Langer was even charged with creating obscene materials, though the case against him was eventually dropped.

Still, the possibility of controversy has not prevented galleries, including artist-run centers such as A Space and Mercer Union in Toronto, from displaying art dealing with gay or lesbian subject matter. Also located in Toronto is the O'Connor Gallery, established in 1995, which hosts an exclusively gay and lesbian roster of lesser-known artists.

Finally, a number of exhibitions devoted exclusively to gay or lesbian themes have been held across Canada, including Sight Specific: Lesbians and Representation (A Space, Toronto, 1988), Homogenius (Mercer Union, Toronto, 1989), 100 Years of Homosexuality (The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon, 1992), and Queer Looking, Queer Acting (Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, 1997).

Eugenio Filice

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arts >> Overview:  AIDS Activism in the Arts

In response to the AIDS epidemic, a number of activist groups, including Gran Fury and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, have used art as a means to raise awareness about the epidemic.

social sciences >> Overview:  Canada

In 2005 Canada became the fourth country to recognize same-sex marriages; the milestone victory solidified Canada's position as a leader in the struggle for glbtq equality.

arts >> Overview:  Censorship in the Arts

Many gay and lesbian artists who have defied the legal and social prohibitions against explicit or sympathetic depictions of homosexuality have seen their art censored or suppressed.

arts >> Overview:  Photography: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

Post-Stonewall gay male photography merits recognition for its contribution to fine art, documentation, photo-journalism, and advertising, as well as erotica.

arts >> Overview:  Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall

Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.

arts >> Overview:  Photography: Lesbian, Post-Stonewall

Since Stonewall lesbian photographers have created an enduring archive that documents lesbian lives, searches for a lesbian sensibility, and explores various issues of particular import to the lesbian community.

arts >> Overview:  Photography: Lesbian, Pre-Stonewall

The most significant examples of pre-Stonewall lesbian photography convey relationships, reflect lesbian iconography, or show the photographer looking at and recording her beloved.

arts >> Overview:  Symbolists

The symbolist movement in painting and literature, which flourished in Europe from 1886 to 1905, was the first self-consciously queer movement in Western art history.

arts >> Overview:  Video Art

Queer video art explores diverse issues, but because it can be such a personally expressive medium, it frequently focuses on issues directly concerned with queer experience.

arts >> Beardsley, Aubrey

English decadent and Symbolist artist Aubrey Beardsley made a lasting contribution to the art of illustration; a satirist with a gift for caricature and grotesquerie, Beardsley attacked Victorian sexual values.

arts >> Greyson, John

Canadian director John Greyson is internationally recognized as an avant-garde filmmaker and video artist whose work confronts issues related to homosexuality, gay rights, and AIDS activism.

arts >> LaBruce, Bruce

As a founder of the "queercore" movement, filmmaker and reluctant pornographer Bruce LaBruce reaffirms and celebrates the outsider status of homosexuals.

arts >> Lukacs, Attila Richard

The work of Canadian painter, sculptor, and installation artist Attila Richard Lukacs is provocative and frequently fetishistic, especially in its depictions of skinheads.

arts >> Meigs, Mary

An American-born painter who emigrated to Canada, the artist Mary Meigs is best known for her literary contributions and her feminist activism on behalf of elderly lesbians.

literature >> Wilde, Oscar

Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.


Boyanoski, Christine. Loring and Wyle: Sculptors' Legacy. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1987.

Buchanan, Donald. James Wilson Morrice. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1936.

Fleming, Martha. Studiolo: The Collaborative Work of Martha Fleming & Lyne Lapointe. Montreal and Windsor: Artexte Editions and Art Gallery of Windsor, 1992.

General Idea. Fin de siècle. Toronto: Power Plant Gallery, 1992.

Gonick, Noam. Ride, Queer, Ride! Bruce La Bruce. Winnipeg: Plug-In Gallery, n. d.

Hanna, Martha. Evergon 1971-1987. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, 1988.

Johnson, Lorraine, ed. Suggestive Poses: Artists and Critics Respond to Censorship. Toronto: Toronto Photographers Workshop and Riverbank Press, 1997.

Kinsman, Gary. The Regulation of Desire: Sexuality in Canada. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1987.

Klusacek, Allan, and Ken Morrison, eds. A Leap in the Dark: AIDS, Art & Contemporary Cultures. Montreal: Véhicule Press, 1992.

Lee, Robert. "AIDS, Art and Activism in Canada: Contextualizing the Work of Steven Andrews and Andy Fabo." M.A. thesis, Concordia University, 1995.

Leiss McKellar, Elisabeth. "Out of Order: Florence Carlyle and the Challenge of Identity." M.A. thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1995.

Metcalfe, Robin. Queer Looking, Queer Acting. Halifax: Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, 1997.

Miller, James. Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.

Reid, Dennis. A Concise History of Canadian Painting. 2nd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Reinke, Steve, and Tom Taylor, eds. Lux: A Decade of Artists' Film and Video. Toronto: YYZ Books/Pleasure Dome, 2000.

Townsend, Doug, curator. 100 Years of Homosexuality. Saskatoon: The Photographers Gallery, 1992.


    Citation Information
    Author: Filice, Eugenio  
    Entry Title: Canadian Art  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated August 30, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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