Home Art History Judy Chicago on Why She Devoted Her New Show to 80 Women Artists Who Inspired Her

Judy Chicago on Why She Devoted Her New Show to 80 Women Artists Who Inspired Her

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frida kahlo injured deer (1946). ©2023 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, DF/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

judy chicago is famous for dinner party (1974–79), a work of art celebrating the overlooked historical achievements of women. Hence Judy Chicago: Her Story, the first New York survey by the great feminist artist. new museum In October, we will pay tribute to women in history.

The exhibition-within-an-exhibition entitled ‘The City of Ladies’ will feature works by over 80 female artists, writers and cultural figures. Some of the most famous women in art history are: frida kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffeand Artemisia Gentileschias well as similar ones, Paula Modersohn-Becker, elizabeth catlettand Kathe Kollwitz. There are also women in other fields. gertrude stein, virginia woolf, emily dickinson, martha grahamand emma goldman.

The work will be exhibited alongside some of Chicago’s major works, with a monumental banner overhead for her series The Female Divine (2022), created for the Paris fashion show with Dior. . This is an unusual curatorial choice, but one that makes perfect sense when viewed through the lens of Chicago’s work.

For decades, she has enlisted women with unique artistic skills to help realize her vision for ambitious projects such as: dinner party and “birth project” (1980-1985). And if half of Chicago’s work is her physical work, the other half is her deep research that reveals women’s history and mastery of an art form unfairly relegated to the realm of craft. This is an archival research.

judy chicago What would happen if women ruled the world? From “The Female Divine” (2020). ©Judy Chicago/Artist Rights Society (ARS). Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.

“If there’s Judy, there’s women’s history. If there’s Judy, there’s other women,” says New Museum of Art, who co-curated the exhibition with Gary Carrion-Murayari, Margot Norton and Madeline Weisberg. Director Massimiliano Gioni told Artnet News. “And that’s how we got to this.”

One of the location settings for dinner party is dedicated to christine de pisanauthor of a 15th century protofeminist book Cité des Dames Library (or Women’s City Book)giving its name to Chicago’s upcoming shows section.

“Christine [de Pisan] She was the first woman in Europe to support herself through writing. She became a widow at the age of 25 with her three children and took up the pen to write. And she wrote the highly popular and highly misogynistic book “ roman de la rose” Chicago told Artnet News.

“In the book, Christine describes how when she sits at her desk and thinks, ‘Maybe women really are inferior,’ three people appear before her: reason, justice, and virtue.” continued Mr. Chicago. “And they say, ‘Don’t be stupid, Christine.’ What you have to do… to counter this idea is to create a Ladies City – which she did. Did.”

Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein), Portrait of Miss EM Craig (1920). ©Estate of Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein).Provided by: Piano Nobile, London

The 83-year-old artist first heard about this book when dinner party, which was not even translated into English.But Chicago sees it this way. city ​​of women As evidence that the roots of feminism go back centuries earlier than is generally acknowledged, and that there is a hidden cultural history written by women.

“One of the things I discovered in the ’70s was that women had an incredible hunger for images that affirmed them,” Chicago said.

In the new museum, Chicago and Gioni will create a unique ” Building the City of Ladies.

“I hope it changes the way people look at my life. [and] They will begin to understand my work within a different history than the patriarchal history of art,” Chicago said. “Although there are alternative canons that already exist, [and] No need to create one. It was just excluded. ”

Mary Louise McLaughlin, ‘Ali Baba’ Vase (1880). Collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum. 2018 Gift from the Estate of Jane Gates Todd.

“Massimiliano visualizes the multiple historical contexts that my 60-year career has fostered,” she adds, adding that people often dismiss her work because of their ignorance about topics such as women’s needlework and pottery. He pointed out that it was difficult to understand. She “didn’t really understand that this was why I didn’t fully understand my work for a long time.”

The artist and curator first met atgreat mother”, an exhibition on depictions of motherhood in the 20th and 21st centuries, organized by Gioni for Expo Milano 2015. Chicago had begun the “Birth Project,” which was featured prominently on the show, in an effort to correct who she was as a missing image of motherhood. Among historical works of art.

“What Massimiliano’s show taught me is that erasure is not just about erasing the accomplishments of individual women. Erasure is about erasing things like birth and motherhood that are important to the patriarchal art world. “It also applies to subjects that we consider not to be true, because we now know that a large body of art dealing with these subjects dates back to the early 20th century,” Chicago said. “Dada, Futurism, I was completely shocked.”

judy chicago Burst Trinity: Needle Point 1 From “The Birth Project” (1983). “Needlepoint” by Susan Blumenstein, Elizabeth Kolten, Karen Vogel, Helen Hilmes, Bernice Levitt, Linda Rothenberg, Miriam Vogelman. ©Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Gasford Collection. Photo by Donald Woodman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Some of the women in “The City of Ladies” have been an inspiration to Chicago over the years. Others, even artists, obviously people who have been avid students of women’s history for decades, didn’t know until Joni started organizing the show.

“It’s going to be a huge learning experience for most viewers,” Chicago said.

But even if we never met, Hilma af KlintChicago, who pioneered spiritualist abstraction until her blockbuster exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2018, drew a line between her work and that of the late Swedish artist. I am aware that it depicts Chicago believes that “The City of Ladies” proves that women have always operated within their own art historical tradition, separate from men.

Hilma af Klint, Group IX/UW, Pigeon, no.2 (1915). ©Hilma a Klint Foundation.

“Mainstream institutions have been looking for ways to add women and artists of color to their boundaries without challenging the patriarchal paradigm,” the Chicago professor said. “But I’ve been working with a completely different paradigm.”

Art is not the only thing displayed in the showcase. For example, there will be reproductions of French animal painters from the 19th century. Rosa BonheurAn official application granted permission to wear men’s clothing in public.

There is also a focus on what Chicago called the Center Core Image, where the artwork is built from the center radiating out rather than from the edges of the canvas.

“In the ’70s, I studied the work of many women artists and discovered that there were many women who, like me, built their images from the core,” Chicago said. “My own impulses became stronger at a time when it was fashionable to create work from the edge. I always felt left out.”

judy chicago virginia woolf From “Reincarnation Triptych” (1973). ©Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Kirsten Grimstad and Diana Gould collection.

Although her writings on the subject were ridiculed at the time, she argued that “because we exist around a central core, it is possible that we could open up a whole stream of understanding to work by women based on different bodily drives.” “There’s a gender,” Chicago added.

arranging financing for The City of Ladies was a bit out of reach for the New Museum, which specializes in contemporary art. “This is probably the only time.” Hildegard of Bingen and Artemisia Gentileschi,” Gioni said.

But while this exhibition is an important step toward deepening our understanding of women in art history, neither the Museum of Modern Art nor the Metropolitan Museum of Art has undertaken it.

“Why should alternative museums still have to do that? It’s amazing that we’re doing it, but we’re still an alternative museum,” he said. I did. Nevertheless, someone has to do this important work. “It’s about rewriting history.”

Judy Chicago: Her Storywill be on display at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York City, New York, from October 12, 2023 to January 14, 2024.

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