Engagement, Empowerment, and Empathy: Cosmetics in the Work of Suzy Lake and Janine Antoni

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Laframboise, Beverly Jessa




This thesis explores the use of cosmetics in Suzy Lake's A Genuine Simulation of… (1973-1974) and Janine Antoni's Butterfly Kisses (1996-1999). Lake and Antoni are two prominent contemporary artists who have explored issues of gender, identity, beauty, and adornment in Western feminist art. Investigating the works' process-driven qualities and seeking to make sense of how each artist engaged in beauty rituals, this thesis argues that reflection on the artists' acts can deepen our understanding of the issues presented in the works. When observing A Genuine Simulation of… and Butterfly Kisses, viewers can engage with the artists' processes; in drawing on their own experiences to comprehend the artists' processes of creation, Lake and Antoni lead viewers towards reflection, empowerment, and empathy with respect to their own cosmetic adornment and the adornment of others.


Art History




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Art History

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Theses and Dissertations

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