37 min

Judy Chicago The Great Women Artists

    • Arts

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is one of the most pioneering and revelatory artists alive, Judy Chicago.

Born Judith Sylvia Cohen, then Judy Gerowitz, but changed it to Judy Chicago to renounce the name of her first husband to instead adopt the name of her birth city instead, Chicago has been at the forefront of art since the 1960s. Following her studies at UCLA in the 1950s, Chicago attended auto body school, as the only woman out of 250 men. It was here that she learnt to use spray guns, but instead of actually painting cars, she used these skills to formulate vaginal forms onto carhoods, as if to poke fun at her male contemporaries.

In the 1960s, she turned to Minimalism, creating block-like sculptures which she executed in exuberant colours. While her work was acclaimed, she was one of only three women (out of 51 artists) included in the landmark Jewish Museum exhibition, Primary Structures, in 1966.

During this decade, she became increasingly aware of the lack of women artists available to her – as an undergraduate at UCLA in the late 1950s and 60s, she had taken a class titled the Intellectual History of Europe, where her professor declared that women had made zero contributions to European History – so she set herself the task of looking for it herself. As she has said “there was actually a huge amount of information if one looked for it, especially dating back to the 19th century…”

Out of this – and turning to the importance of education – she began the first ever feminist art programme, at Fresno State College, with artist Miriam Schapiro in 1970, which, as feminist art historian, Linda Nochlin has declared, was a time when there were no women’s studies, no feminist theory, no African American studies, no queer theory, no postcolonial studies. What there was ... was a seamless web of great art, often called “The Pyramids to Picasso”... extolling great (male, of course) artistic achievement since the very dawn of history’...

In the 1970s, Chicago created the famous Dinner Party, worked on between 1974 and 1978: a giant minimalist-like table that awards 39 women from history and mythology a ‘seat at the table’ – with the further names of 999 women in the porcelain in the middle.

She has created images of birth, death, animals, plants, that deal with an attitude entrenched in feminism towards caring for our planet, and so much more. But! The reason why we are speaking to her today is because this summer in London, Chicago will take over the Serpentine Gallery with an exhibition that corresponds to her major new book: Revelations, a project that has been unrealised for over 30 years, but is finally being published, that includes rewriting the story of creation, spotlighting the Great Mother Goddess, and a plethora of other women, and challenging the patriarchal paradigms that have always dictated how stories have been read, written, and accepted.

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LINKS:
https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/whats-on/judy-chicago-revelations/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwo6GyBhBwEiwAzQTmc3bNjJ0zjNj2RgMuZomrRmjd8Bhuvx6YlLjhkJ8sk0ZYIgxU_IQVmRoCEWoQAvD_BwE
https://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/books/judy-chicago-revelations-hardcover
https://judychicago.com/
https://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/judy-chicago-herstory

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THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION:

https://www.famm.com/en/
https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037

Follow us:
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic
Music by Ben Wetherfield

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is one of the most pioneering and revelatory artists alive, Judy Chicago.

Born Judith Sylvia Cohen, then Judy Gerowitz, but changed it to Judy Chicago to renounce the name of her first husband to instead adopt the name of her birth city instead, Chicago has been at the forefront of art since the 1960s. Following her studies at UCLA in the 1950s, Chicago attended auto body school, as the only woman out of 250 men. It was here that she learnt to use spray guns, but instead of actually painting cars, she used these skills to formulate vaginal forms onto carhoods, as if to poke fun at her male contemporaries.

In the 1960s, she turned to Minimalism, creating block-like sculptures which she executed in exuberant colours. While her work was acclaimed, she was one of only three women (out of 51 artists) included in the landmark Jewish Museum exhibition, Primary Structures, in 1966.

During this decade, she became increasingly aware of the lack of women artists available to her – as an undergraduate at UCLA in the late 1950s and 60s, she had taken a class titled the Intellectual History of Europe, where her professor declared that women had made zero contributions to European History – so she set herself the task of looking for it herself. As she has said “there was actually a huge amount of information if one looked for it, especially dating back to the 19th century…”

Out of this – and turning to the importance of education – she began the first ever feminist art programme, at Fresno State College, with artist Miriam Schapiro in 1970, which, as feminist art historian, Linda Nochlin has declared, was a time when there were no women’s studies, no feminist theory, no African American studies, no queer theory, no postcolonial studies. What there was ... was a seamless web of great art, often called “The Pyramids to Picasso”... extolling great (male, of course) artistic achievement since the very dawn of history’...

In the 1970s, Chicago created the famous Dinner Party, worked on between 1974 and 1978: a giant minimalist-like table that awards 39 women from history and mythology a ‘seat at the table’ – with the further names of 999 women in the porcelain in the middle.

She has created images of birth, death, animals, plants, that deal with an attitude entrenched in feminism towards caring for our planet, and so much more. But! The reason why we are speaking to her today is because this summer in London, Chicago will take over the Serpentine Gallery with an exhibition that corresponds to her major new book: Revelations, a project that has been unrealised for over 30 years, but is finally being published, that includes rewriting the story of creation, spotlighting the Great Mother Goddess, and a plethora of other women, and challenging the patriarchal paradigms that have always dictated how stories have been read, written, and accepted.

--

LINKS:
https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/whats-on/judy-chicago-revelations/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwo6GyBhBwEiwAzQTmc3bNjJ0zjNj2RgMuZomrRmjd8Bhuvx6YlLjhkJ8sk0ZYIgxU_IQVmRoCEWoQAvD_BwE
https://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/books/judy-chicago-revelations-hardcover
https://judychicago.com/
https://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/judy-chicago-herstory

--

THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION:

https://www.famm.com/en/
https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037

Follow us:
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic
Music by Ben Wetherfield

37 min

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