Fren Mah, Fragility of the Male Ego III, 2020, Oil on lace, Collection of the artist
In feminist theory the phrase ‘the male gaze’ refers to the act of depicting women in the visual arts and literature from a masculine, heterosexual perspective. The travelling exhibition The Male Gaze disrupts this performance by presenting the work of three male artists from Edmonton who investigate male subjects and concerns as themes in their work; exploring concepts of gender and what it means or could mean to be ‘a man’.
Since the 1980s the history of masculinity and the nature of gender identity have been debated by psychology and gender theorists in the western world. Such studies have given birth to the concept of ‘toxic’ masculinity and a belief, in some circles, of a ‘crisis’ in masculinity which have found voice in the social and political clashes of contemporary societies throughout the world. The exhibition The Male Gaze addresses these conflicts and through the art works presented asks viewers to consider and question the character and roles of men in society through both the lens of history and in the present day.
The exhibition The Male Gaze was curated by Shane Golby and organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program.
Cover Image: Julian Forrest, Untitled (White Hat), 2019, Oil on board, Collection of the artist