The fourteenth artist that will be highlighted is: Judy Chicago
According to her Wikipedia page: “Judy Chicago (born Judith Sylvia Cohen; July 20, 1939) is an American feminist artist, art educator, and writer known for her large collaborative art installation pieces about birth and creation images, which examine the role of women in history and culture. During the 1970s, Chicago founded the first feminist art program in the United States at California State University Fresno (formerly Fresno State College) and acted as a catalyst for Feminist art and art education. Her inclusion in hundreds of publications in various areas of the world showcases her influence in the art community. Additionally, many of her books have been published in other countries, making her work more accessible to international readers. Chicago’s work incorporates a variety of artistic skills, such as needlework, counterbalanced with labor-intensive skills such as welding and pyrotechnics. Chicago’s most well known work is The Dinner Party, which is permanently installed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The Dinner Party celebrates the accomplishments of women throughout history and is widely regarded as the first epic feminist artwork. Other notable art projects by Chicago include International Honor Quilt, The Birth Project, Powerplay, and The Holocaust Project.”
This is perhaps the most personal Artist of the Month for me. So much so, that I moved Judy to this month because I couldn’t wait to talk about her.
I was first introduced to Judy Chicago while I was still an art student at Rivier College. My mentor presented me with a copy of Judy’s “Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist” and I remember him stressing the importance of this book… and I will admit that, at the time, reading yet another book, was not high on my list of things to do. The book then traveled with me wherever I lived for the next thirty years… always with the intention that I would get to it.
Over the years I tried to read “Though the Flower” but I never seemed to get very far and, over time, the book tended to simply live in a box. I am firm believer that you will be able to complete a book when you are ready to hear what it is trying to say.
And it wasn’t until recently that I was “ready” for the message of “Through the Flower” and finally completed it. The impact of this book has been nothing short of monumental for me – I cannot remember the last time I felt such a connection to another artist in regards to their struggle, work and experiences. I felt as if Judy was speaking just to me. She voiced all of the things that I had been thinking about art: about the process of creating, about the struggle and doubt, about my feeling about the art world. Everything.
My mentor was correct all along: read this book.
My only regret was that it took me thirty years to read her message. Please, if you have a chance, pick up a copy of “Through the Flower” and read it.
As Judy is a living artist, I am doing things a little differently this month. Judy is the first artist I have come across with simply so much about her readily available and in addition to the links below, I will be posting videos of Judy talking about her work and projects on my White Rooster Studio FB page, so please make sure to check in during the month.
Please check out the following:
- Please check out Judy’s website: judychicago.com
- Please check out Judy’s monumental work: The Dinner Party at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dinner_Party
- There is also a book focusing on The Dinner Project by Jane F. Gerhard – I just received a copy and this is my next book 🙂
- I also recently got my hands on “Becoming Judy Chicago: A Biography of the Artist” by Gail Levin
- Judy is part of the Feminist Art movement, if you are looking for more info, please check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_art
- There is also a list of Feminist Artists you should know (which is extensive) at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_feminist_artists
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