Friday, August 1, 2008

Dinner With Judy Chicago

I have long been a fan of the work of Judy Chicago. She is an artist, author, feminist, educator and intellectual whose career now spans four decades. Renowned for the convention-shattering nature of her work, Chicago has served as pioneer for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and a woman’s right to freedom of expression.

Her seminal work, The Dinner Party (1974-79), is a monumental, collaboratively created, mixed-media tribute to women which in March 2007 will be installed in its new permanent home at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

What follows is a video that covers the opening of The Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum and a casual interview with Chicago:

(If you can’t see it, click HERE.)

Chicago's controversial, yet wildly popular art is exhibited frequently in the United States and internationally. Her ten books, published in several languages, have brought her art and philosophy to readers around the world.

Prior to creating consciously feminist art and other work rich in content, Chicago made significant contributions to the direction and focus of Minimalism as part of the Los Angeles-based Finish Fetish movement.

The geometric forms, meticulously applied finishes, and luminous, gradated hues of color in paintings, drawings and sculptural works she created between 1965 and 1973 also laid the aesthetic foundations for her own later work.

Rainbow Pickett, first created in 1966 and later destroyed by the artist, was re-created in 2004 and served as the hallmark image for a major Minimalist retrospective held that year at LAMOCA.

In 1970 Chicago set out to create a Feminist Art practice that would give authentic voice to women’s experiences and affirm the ways in which women are and always have been key contributors to human society and culture. As an educator, she pioneered Feminist Art programs at California State University, Fresno, and the California Institute of the Arts. Her own art of the early ’70s ranges from bold representations to abstract symbols of Feminist identity, including the iconic “Through the Flower” image and others which evolved from her Minimalist work.

Prior to the series, known as Birth Project, few images of birth existed in Western art, a puzzling omission as birth is a central focus of many women's lives and a universal experience for all humanity, as everyone has been born.

Seeking to fill this void in Western art, Judy Chicago created multiple images of birth to be realized through needlework, a visually rich medium which has been ignored or trivialized by the mainstream art community.

Resolutions: A Stitch In Time is a series of painted and needleworked images created by Judy Chicago and a group of highly accomplished needleworkers, many of whom worked with Chicago on previous projects. Begun in 1994 with the intention of addressing the contemporary breakdown of social values, this project reinterprets traditional adages and proverbs for the future. In Resolutions, such age-old values as Family, Responsibility, Tolerance, Human Rights, Conservation, Hope and Change are cast in a multi-cultural and contemporary perspective.

See more of Judy Chicago’s work at HER WEB SITE.

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Stacy Alexander