Queer Art: From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between – Gemma Rolls-Bentley

Queer Art

In her debut book, “Queer Art: From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between,” London-based curator Gemma Rolls-Bentley has created an essential anthology for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. The book will be released in May 2024 on Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group; this work brings together nearly 200 pieces across thematic chapters such as Queer Spaces, Queer Bodies, and Queer Power. This ambitious project celebrates the diversity and creativity of queer voices from around the globe, blending high and low art, established blue-chip artists with emerging Instagram creatives, and the racy with the fabulous.

Rolls-Bentley, who has been a significant figure in contemporary art for nearly two decades, emphasizes the role of queer art in today’s cultural landscape and its historical impact. Her curation includes works from renowned artists like Nina Chanel Abney, David Hockney, Kehinde Wiley, and historical figures such as Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. The book aims to spark new discourse and provide a platform for contemporary LGBTQIA+ artists and historical pioneers.

Isaac Julien, in his foreword, praises the book for celebrating the richness and diversity of queer creativity. At the same time, Catherine Opie commends Rolls-Bentley’s ability to create a liberating space where art, politics, and humanity intersect. The book is also highly recommended by Russell Tovey and Robert Diament, co-hosts of the Talk Art Podcast, who highlight its overdue celebration of LGBTQIA+ artists’ global impact.

Rolls-Bentley’s career has been dedicated to amplifying queer voices in the art world. Her notable curatorial projects include the “Dreaming of Home” exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in New York City and the Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival in London. She also curated the Brighton Beacon Collection, the UK’s largest permanent display of queer art. As a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and a board member of various diversity-supporting organizations, Rolls-Bentley continues to champion the visibility and recognition of queer artists.

“Queer Art: From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between” is a landmark publication that not only documents the vibrant contributions of queer artists but also invites readers to engage with the cultural narratives that shape our understanding of queer identity. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in the intersection of art and queer culture.

Available for pre-order now, “Queer Art: From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between” promises to be a defining addition to any art lover’s collection, reflecting Gemma Rolls-Bentley’s passion and dedication to queer art and its enduring legacy.

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