Queer Art

From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between

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Pub Date Jun 11 2024 | Archive Date May 31 2024

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We love and strongly recommend this beautifully curated book. Celebrating the massive and lasting global impact of LGBTQI+ artists, a book like this is long overdue! Russell Tovey & Robert Diament, co-hosts of Talk Art podcast.

Celebrate the LGBTQI+ community with this vivid collection of artworks that charts queer voices from around the world.

The twentieth century saw key shifts for the LGBTQI+ community across the western world: from the Stonewall uprising to the first pride parades and homosexuality law reforms. The years following these milestone moments have seen queer life face new challenges, celebrations, injustices and liberations.

As ever, this journey has been closely mapped by art and culture. Artists working across all mediums – from painting, performance, digital and beyond – have captured key moments, from the HIV/AIDS crisis and the rise of drag, to marriage equality and the fight for trans liberation. The artists include:

  • Andrew Logan, sculptor and founder of the Alternative Miss World party
  • Leading artists David Hockney, Nicole Eisenmann and Zanele Muholi
  • Late greats Greer Lankton, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Tom of Finland
  • Pioneers of Queer Cinema Derek Jarman and Sir Isaac Julien
  • Ground-breaking photographers Nan Goldin, Ajamu X, Wolfgang Tilmans and Catherine Opie
  • Contemporary art stars Sin Wai Kin, Zackary Drucker and Clifford Prince King

With nearly 200 artworks selected by leading LGBTQI+ curator Gemma Rolls-Bentley, this book mixes the high-brow with the low, gallery stalwarts with Instagram stars, and the racy with the fabulous. This is a unique celebration of queer life – a must-have for the LGBTQI+ community, art lovers and anyone interested in the culture surrounding queer identity.

We love and strongly recommend this beautifully curated book. Celebrating the massive and lasting global impact of LGBTQI+ artists, a book like this is long overdue! Russell Tovey & Robert Diament...

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ISBN 9780711282674
PRICE $35.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 39 members

Featured Reviews

This was absolutely beautiful. This book celebrated queer art and support for the LGBTQ plus community. With topics, such as visibility, activism, and queer love, the reader gains deeper insight into the community. The art was absolutely beautiful and each piece had a detailed description as well. I loved the way the book was set up, the art was gorgeous, and it was also educational. The historical aspects of gay culture were presented in a beautiful way.

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This was so so interesting!!
It covered such a diverse range of queer art, artists and different mediums.

Each piece is accompanied by a short snippet of information about the artist, context and what it represents. Was informative, beautiful and powerful.

Whilst I know quite a bit about general queer history, I learned a lot from this one. It highlights so many activists and interesting queer figures I’d not come across before.

Just fascinting. Such a celebration of queer people, queer art and queer strength.

Loved it. Recommend!! I bet the physical copy will be even more stunning.

Thanks so much to netgalley for an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Probably my favourite ARC of the year so far!

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I am not an art connaisseur but I loved this album. I liked the moments in life portrayed and all the details mentionned. Love is art.

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This was a respectful expose into the world of queer art and photography. The text was engaging too. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, I was very appreciative of this collection of artworks!

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Some of this book was beautiful, while some was odd, and some a little horrifying. But that's the reality of life and I truly enjoyed it. The writing was good, along with the different styles of pictures and paintings.

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This book, y’all! This book! This book is life!
It is the most absolute perfection that has ever existed.
There are photos, there are drawings and paintings, there are stories and there is it alllllll and it all is queer, and it’s all alive and beautiful.
Beautiful. It. Is. So. Breathtakingly. Beautiful.

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Wonderful artworks, absorbing texts. Each chapter is a gift into the beauty of being LGBTQIA+. The artworks are well-selected and the texts are refreshing to read. I’m also obsessed with the cover. Such an expansive read for queer people and allies. I was introduced to new artists that I probably wouldn’t have learned about otherwise. If you enjoy photography and art, pick up this book and you won’t put it down. Like bell hooks wrote, it’s queer “as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it”. And this book offers even more than that.

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I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley.

Absolutely incredible. You can tell how well the photographer was in really capturing the essence of queer people.

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Beautifully done book of queer art! I wish there was *slightly* less text- sometimes the volume of text takes away from the space for the art.

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This is a beautiful and informative overview of queer art, mostly contemporary, from all over the world. The prints were exquisite and the text was informative and interesting. The chapters were thematic and well thought out. I had not known about many of the artists featured in this book, and I am excited to explore more of their work. I can't wait to see this as an actual book because I'm sure the art will be glorious on the page.

I would highly recommend this to all bookstores and libraries as a wonderful addition to their art book collection.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC!

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I really liked this book. I've wanted to learn more about art from different artists, and this was a good book to learn about different artists as an intro to the art world. I like the layout of the book and how each piece had an explanation and history for it. I loved the format of the book and the design of it. It was a great book to read to start to get into reading and learning about art.

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This book highlights notable artists and individual artworks that have contributed to cultural framework of queer art and artists. I enjoyed the wide selection of artists that are featured with a great balance of big names and those that I was not aware of and gave me new insight and info into them. Artworks are selected from Postmodern period (1970s-1990s) as well as later Contemporary works of today. I found this nicely mixed and the categories/chapters well curated and organized. I will definitely be suggesting this to students who want to explore more about queer art and artists, and I know I myself will also reference some artists I learned about from this book in some of my lectures about Postmodern art culture.

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This is a great collection of queer art and teaches an important history. Books like this need to be written in order to preserve and create a papertrail of queer history. Some of the works were recognizable, while others were new to me. Through this book, I discovered new things about familiar works and learned about other pieces of queer arts I’d never seen before.

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Provocative and inspiring. I love how much activism and disruption is displayed in this selection of queer art, as well as how much intimacy and joy. Sir Isaac Julian, Hernan Bas, Sola Oluode, Ghada Khunji, Xiyadie, Laurence Philomene, Tammy Rae Carland, Hugh Steers, Kehinde Wiley, Slava Mogutin, and Charmaine Poh were all standouts for me. And the section on Act Up and AIDS protest art. (It includes Zoe Leonard’s “I Want A President” manifesto, fuck yes.)

The breadth and depth of this collection make it a powerful representation of queer lives and queer love. And as this is a digital copy, I would love to one day page through it in print.

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I loved the art displayed in the book and the representation it brings to life. Wholeheartedly recommend.

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Yes, yes, yes! Did I say yes already? Be still my little queer artist heart. As a disabled queer art, I struggle with finding queer art not just because galleries seldom make room for queerness but also because of accesibility. To have this access to my community in my home is everything.

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An art critic at a local newspaper once said that art should be allowed to speak for itself. What happens when the art uses a vocabulary that the viewer does not know?

This book groups the works by theme and discusses the historical and social context both of each theme and of each work. The book thus helps the viewer with the language barrier to understanding the art.

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I can't stress enough how important it is that books like these are published, especially in the light of recent events concerning the queer communities worldwide.

I loved the structure of the book, showcasing a myriad of artistic works grouped in 3 categories of Queer spaces, Queer bodies and Queer power. After a short introduction, the book jumps right into presenting the art, providing neccessary context and background in a concise and comprehensible form at the beginning of each chapter.

Selection of the pieces is commendable. It ranges from photographs, paintings, sketches, drawings, video installations, installations, to videos, mingling older pieces with the most recent ones, however, none of them is older than 1960s and the focus is quite clearly on the 21st century.
I guess this book would be most appreciated by someone who is seeking an introduction to the queer visual art and is not overly familiar with it, because the descriptions are rather brief. This is obviously part of the book design, as it aims to offer more of a display of the art than an exhaustive analysis of it.

Overall, I loved how colourful, both visually and thematically, this book is and it brought me flashes of pure joy and empowerment. The book concludes with A Conduit of Joy, a painting with an inscription "How does it get even better" and for me, this resonates with hope and joy I wish on our whole queer community and our future.

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Provocative, thought provoking, and beautifully done. "Queer Art", by Gemma Rolls-Bentley is a stunning coffee table book, and I am buying a copy as soon as it hits the bookstore. It's refreshing to see a compilation of art and photography representing the LGBTQI+ community.

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A beautiful look at LGBTQIA+ art history from the 1960s to now, an indepth analysis of queer traditions and expression accompanied by a vivid selection of curated pieces from prominent artists in the community. 5/5 experience, and a recommended read.

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I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am leaving this review of my own accord.

I loved this. All the benefits of an art museum/gallery without the pressure of someone waiting behind you to read the blurb next to the works.

I loved the breadth of the works chosen, and the intentionality of these choices was apparent. So much life on display and so many artists that I’m left wanting to explore deeper. I need a physical copy of this one for sure.

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This was beautifully researched and showcased a multitude of queer artists and their work. There are a lot of pieces it made me want to look further into. I found it admirable for attempting to depict non-print media, such as entire films or video series. I’m still deciding how I felt those landed in this text/still image based format, but I’d rather them have been included because they are art and deserve to be referenced in compilations such as this. The author described the context and intersectionality that the works existed within/stemmed from which highlighted their individuality, while also connecting them across wide-spanning generations and cultures all over the world through the section themes.

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Queer Art: From Canvas to Club and the Spaces in Between by Gemma Rolls-Bentley

So this is pretty much what it looks like: it’s nonfiction, picture heavy book about queer art. I’m sure no one here is surprised. I found myself surprised at the different categories the author uses to organize the art in this book. There’s stuff you’d expect, like “self” and “intimacy” but also categories like “home” and “outside” and “survival”. And each category has numerous pieces of incredible works, each with a detailed descriptions of who the author is and what this piece means and represents, and even how it came about in some instances.

Okay so yes, I got an art minor in college, and yes, art history was one of my favorite classes. Yes, I have art history books on my coffee table. This book couldn’t be any more my kind of thing if it had my name in the title.

That being said, this is a beautiful, thoughtful, well constructed look at queer art, what it means and its role in the community. It’s incredibly informative and insightful, and a work of art unto itself.

Thanks to NetGalley and The Quarto Group for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for giving me this eARC to review.

This is a lovely book. The art is wonderful and varied with a little snippet of information next to each piece and the book is organised into categories. The book focuses on more than one medium which is nice as you can see the collection really pulls from all corners of the creative queer community. Some pieces of art are nice to look at, others are absolutely heartwrenching and some are NSFW/Minors.

This entire book is full of intimacy and community and unashamedly queer. I loved it.

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This is the sort of book that if I saw out in the wild I would buy it. I'm truly grateful to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion | Frances Lincoln for the preview and the opportunity to read every blurb and descriptor and preface .. now I have to wait until June to buy a copy??

Queer Art works to bring in queer art from all over the world, not just the well known and popular pieces from the West (although there are a few of those! They are important), letting us as readers/viewers experience works we would have never heard of otherwise. And it's all sorts of art, not just paintings and photography, but sculpture and stills from video, images from performance pieces, a whole wide gamut. Truly a special book that provides history and context for everything contained within.

(My only gripe, and it is very minor, is that the photograph Candy Darling on Her Deathbed was used in the preface for the 'Survival' chapter where most of the text describes the very real horror of HIV/AIDS, substance use disorder, and suicide-- this photograph would have been better suited within the chapter itself as she died of none of these things, but of lymphoma probably caused by underground unregulated hormones. Funnily enough I was just thinking about her and I turned the page and ta-dah!).

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What a treat! I loved the range of art in this book. The pieces made me laugh, cry, admire and question. A perfect coffee table book to spark many interesting conversations and to inspire you. I also discovered a new favourite artist ! Who could ask for more??

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