About the Artist
An influential feminist artist, author, and educator, Judy Chicago helped establish the Feminist Art Movement of the 1970s. Named as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in 2018, she has garnered an enduring stature. Born Judy Cohen in Chicago, Illinois, in 1939, and known briefly after her first marriage as Judy Gerowitz, Chicago attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1970, the artist adopted the surname “Chicago” and initiated the United States’ first Feminist Art Program at California State University, Fresno. Decades later, Chicago’s work and art education continues to address themes from women’s lives and other social justice concerns. “I believe more than ever in the power of art to transform consciousness,” she has commented. Chicago resides and collaborates with her husband, photographer Donald Woodman in Belen, New Mexico.
Judy Chicago is perhaps best known for her iconic collaborative undertaking, The Dinner Party (1974–1979). This work includes 39 place settings on a table, each honoring an important figure in women’s history. The Dinner Party, however, is just one work in a career that spans artistic schools and embraces a variety of media from pyrotechnics to needlework.
Among her earliest nationally recognized works was the Rainbow Pickett, included in a landmark 1966 New York City exhibition, Primary Structures. In 1969, she created an early pyrotechnical work, Purple Atmosphere. By the early 1970s, Chicago had dedicated herself to feminist expression. She and fellow artist Miriam Schapiro, along with more than 20 art students and local artists, installed the 1971-1972 work Womanhouse in an abandoned Hollywood, California, mansion.
Chicago continued to address feminist and other social justice themes with Birth Project (1980–1985), Power Play (1982-1987), Holocaust Project (1985–1993) and other works. Recent work includes pieces in the survey The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction scheduled for exhibition beginning in October 2019.