Queer Art

From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between

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Pub Date 11 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 4 Jul 2024

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Description

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...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780711282674
PRICE US$35.00 (USD)
PAGES 240

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Average rating from 61 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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This is a beautifully curated book on queer art. It features a variety of queer artists using different artistic mediums to document, explore, and express what it means to be queer. The book is divided into three acts - QUEER SPACES, QUEER BODIES, and QUEER POWER. It is well organized and gives descriptions of each artwork and what the work means and how it expresses queerness. I learned so much about queer art and found tons of new artists to follow and learn more about. This is a book you can take your time with revisit often. Highly recommend.

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The 20th century is the most fascinating time for me to study because it’s a century where there was a lot of change and progress in many ways. One of those ways was social justice, particularly civil rights, feminism, and LGBT rights. Like I’ve said multiple times before on this blog, all three of these movements were contemporaneous. Jim Crow wasn’t that long ago. Women having fewer rights wasn’t that long ago. Homosexuality is still illegal in many countries around the world. During my adulthood I’ve seen the rise in support for marriage equality and increasing visibility of LGBT people and in the past few years I’ve seen a rise in far-right homophobia and transphobia. What’s especially heartbreaking is seeing the division among LGBT people where people fight over the most petty things and there’s an Oppression Olympics of sorts. Unproductive as hell. The real enemy are homophobes and transphobes, not bicurious or questioning people or LGBT people who dress flamboyantly and you deem to be not “respectable”.

One thing that has stayed the same throughout history is the arts being a safe haven for LGBT people. People like to think of classic rock as a macho man straight genre when the truth is there’s a large number of gay and bisexual men in the genre as well as lesbian and bisexual women. So when I got the opportunity to review a new Quarto release called Queer Art, I was excited. I try to post Pride and LGBT themed content every Pride Month and even when it’s not Pride Month I’ll often talk about LGBT issues because it’s very important, not just to me, but millions of people around the world.

The title may offend some people who find the term “Queer” to be a slur and this is addressed in the introduction where the author talks about a British artist named Derek Jarman who staged an exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery called Queer. He explained the decision to call it that because it was more in your face and unapologetic than the world gay. Theorist bell hooks once said that being queer isn’t just about who you love, but also about “the self that is at odds with everything around it.” One could argue that most of us are “queer” in some way whether it’s because we have homosexual attraction, don’t conform to gender roles, or don’t conform to normative relationship or intimacy ideals.

Despite there being a lot of LGBT people in the arts throughout history, their identities aren’t talked about much in art history books. When I was a kid sure we talked about Leonardo da Vinci and Frida Kahlo, but we never talked about his being gay or her being bisexual. Many people like to think that gay people of the past just wanted to live their lives and didn’t rub their sexuality in people’s faces, ergo they’re more respectable than us modern queer folks, when really the truth is that many queer artists snuck queerness in their art through coded messages and symbols and the reason they couldn’t be out is because they grew up in eras where there was a lot of institutionalised homophobia.

The book is divided into three acts: Queer Spaces, Queer Bodies, and Queer Power. Within all these sections you’ll see art by and about LGBT people. Queer spaces aren’t just about the gay bars and nightclubs and cruising spots, but also home. Like straight people, gay and bisexual people want to have safe, loving homes. For many, they didn’t feel accepted by their families of origin and they build their own homes and find their new families. Home is also where you have the most privacy and that is especially important. For some queer people, home may look old fashioned or traditional but with a same sex couple instead of a straight couple, but for others it may be more different with polyamory, open relationships. Of course, there are sections within Queer Spaces that talk about the importance of gay clubs and gay clubs being depicted in art. But there’s also a section on the outdoors and escapism. Just like straight people, gay people appreciate the outdoors and love idyllic settings far from the hustle and bustle of the cities. For some, the city means freedom, but for others it means oppression. There’s some paintings of gay couples making out in the park and it makes me think of the Pretty Things song “Defecting Grey”.

In the second section, Queer Bodies, this is where you’ll start to see some classic rock connections with the intro mentioning Patti Smith’s friend Robert Mapplethorpe who took pictures of the gay scene in New York City in the 70s and 80s. Also in this section is a self-portrait of Andy Warhol in drag from 1982. There’s a lot of non-binary, gender non-conforming, and trans representation in this section as you can expect. A lot of art in this section is more recent, but you’ll also see older art in here too and I love seeing different eras alongside each other. Inside this section you’ll also find art that depicts intimacy and survival. The survival section of the book is a really emotional and moving one to read.

In the Queer Power section, there are discussions of visibility, symbolism, and activism. Not just in the west, but countries all around the world with powerful artwork about institutionalised homophobia, both historic and present. There’s also a section on love, which is incredibly powerful. there’s songs with the title “The Power of Love”, Huey Lewis and the News sang about it and of course, so did Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Appropriately, the book ends with a section called Queertopia with art that showcases a queer futuristic perspective: imagine if the whole world was accepting of us.

This is a very diverse book with representation of trans people, queer people of colour, immigrants, international perspectives outside of the Anglosphere. Like I’ve said about other coffee table books I’ve reviewed being documentaries in a book, this is like an art museum in a book. There is a mix of photography and paintings for the most part with pictures of some art installations that were in museums and some photos of performance art.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to enjoy Queer Art by Gemma Rolls-Bentley, a beautiful book to be enjoyed by all art lovers

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This book was wonderfully curated to show different types of art centering the queer community in the Western world. I really liked how it was thematically sorted into the chapters and the sheer amount of artwork that was inculed. The text was a welcome addition, although I sometimes wished the artwork was larger to see more details. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and this it's a nice introduction to queer art and history it presents.

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This is a gorgeous book filled with queer art and history!! I loved flipping through it and reading about all the artworks mentioned in the book. It's an amazing collection worth reading through!

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This felt like stepping into a gallery or a museum exhibition. It had a wide range of art forms, and the pieces in here express different sides of the queer experience.
It was also a nice source of artistic inspiration.

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The artworks in this book span several decades of queer art, curated around the topics of Queer Spaces, Queer Bodies and Queer Power. Queer Art has captured the beauty, strength and at times rawness of our community in a way that is both visually enjoyable but also facilitates a deeper understanding of the works.

Highly recommend. I'll be buying a physical copy of this book as soon as I can get my hands on it!

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Thank you net gallery for the advanced copy of this book. This is an art book filled with beautiful pictures and short a brief background of the artists involved. A good addition to your personal collection but definitely NSFW due to the nudity.

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Really enjoyed this book. Was educational and really nice to look at how varied queer art is. I’m glad Shoog and Nan Goldin.

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Absolutely gorgeous book--and an exquisite example of combining art with education. I'm adding this beautiful book to my personal collection and am looking forward to sharing it with friends who visit. I'm also considering how I might use a few of these images as writing prompts for my students. Thank you so much for the eARC!

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When I travel, I always search out nearby art museums to spend a day in. I love the surprises that are waiting for me, like finding new artists to follow and new pieces of art to fall in love with. I haven't been able to travel at all this year and books like Queer Art provide a way for me to fulfill my wanderlust a bit. I enjoyed learning about lgbtq+ artists that I hadn't heard of yet, taking time to really study their art and read about lgbtq+ history. It was a fascinating book and so much more than "just a book of art". This is a must-own for anyone who loves art.

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I really enjoyed reading this one and definitely want to get the physical copy when it comes out! There were so many artists profiled that I didn't know of before reading it and some of my favorites featured as well. I will be recommending it to anyone who loves art and queer culture.

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This is an extremely well-designed reference and art book.
The selection of the art work, the facts and insights about them and the movement, and the quality of the images and the writing are amazing.

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A must have book! The artwork is varied and at times in your face, but that is queer life. Gemma Rolls-Bentley showcases the various aspects of what being queer means.

I will caution that before kids look at it, that you do first. There is some nudity and truthful art about our present and history. It’s our reality and the beauty and pain of it on full display in these pages. I do wish there was more representation in the Queer Power section - maybe something for artists to think about.

I’m in love with Yuki Kihara’s Paradise Camp. I want this piece on my wall. It speaks to my soul. I just love it.

Queer Art is a must have. It will make you want to see some of these artists work in person. It is empowering just on the page.

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Absolutely stunning. The photographs and art in this book are beautiful and evoke so much emotion. I can’t wait to get a physical copy in my possession.

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