Ever since 2011/2012 and Pacific Standard Time (the Getty funded initiative documenting and celebrating southern California art from 1945-1980) in which I was prominently featured, my career has exploded, taking me all over the country and abroad, which has been exciting. And of course, the 2014 nationwide exhibitions and events celebrating my 75th birthday were deeply gratifying. At the same time all this travel has occupied a considerable amount of time which has interrupted my studio work. Even now after fifty years of professional practice, my greatest satisfaction comes from artmaking. Happily, after the birthday events I had five months of uninterrupted studio time.
In April of this year, Donald and I went to New York for two events related to my fireworks. The first, on April 9th at the Brooklyn Museum, the premiere of the video of A Butterfly for Brooklyn, was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Glenn Adamson, director of the Museum of Arts and Design and featured (in addition to Donald and me), award winning film editor, Kate Amend who - with Joan Churchill, Alan Barker and Helen Kearns - created the wonderful twenty minute video. The other featured panelist was Chris Souza, sixth generation member of the famous fireworks company Pyro Spectaculars, with whom I've done four pyrotechnic pieces, each one more ambitious than its predecessor. In the second event on April 10th, in a companion program, I participated in a public conversation with Elissa Auther, curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, exploring my history working in fireworks which dates back to 1968.
From New York we went to Louisville, Kentucky, where I presented a lecture about my work as part of the 120th celebration of the Louisville chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women. The night before my talk, there was a Patron's Party where Dr. Michael Linver, my world-renowned radiologist who practices here in Albuquerque (and brother-in-law to our host, Ellen Rosenbloom) did a duet with a local rabbi, singing my Merger poem which had been set to music.
While we were in Louisville, there was a visioning charette at the University of Louisville to discuss the future of the International Honor Quilt, which Through the Flower gifted to the Hite Art Institute in 2013. Since that time, the hundreds of commemorative triangular quilts honoring women from around the world have been curated and put up on the Hite's website where these colorful creations and their moving documentation can be seen and appreciated by people all over the world. TTF Board member Patrice Emrie has written a longer description of the charette in another part of this newsletter.
Now I'm back in the studio where I plan to remain until early September when Donald and I head for Europe and a series of exhibitions in London, Milan and Bilbao. All four of my Car Hoods will be included in The World Goes Pop at the Tate Modern, a re-examination of that period in art in terms of what artists (other than those associated with the pop art movement) were doing.
In conjunction with the Tate Modern show, Riflemaker, my London gallery, is doing a solo show of my work from the 1960's and 70's. From London we go to Milan where they are holding a World's Fair which we hope to check out. I'm in two exhibitions there: one focused on art and food organized by the legendary curator, Germano Celant, and the other a show titled The Great Mother, curated by Massimiliano Gioni dealing with the iconography and representation of motherhood in 20th and 21st century art. My 32 foot long prismacolor drawing, In the Beginning (which reinterprets Genesis in text and image), will be featured. As I helped to open up the subject of birth and motherhood in the Birth Project, I am extremely interested in seeing what other artists have done with this theme.
In early October, the feminist curator Xabier Arakistain (who previously did a marvelous show titled Kiss Kiss Bang Bang followed by an exhibition of the Guerilla Girls) is organizing a major exhibition of my work titled Why Not Judy Chicago?. In addition to being an insightful overview of my career it is also intended as an inquiry into the ongoing resistance of major museums, most of which do not own anything of mine. A few days after the opening, there will be an all-day seminar on my work with a number of art historians who have written about me. The show opens at the Askuna Zentroa in Bilbao, Spain and in March, 2016, it will travel to the contemporary art museum in Bordeaux so we'll be going back to Europe for that.
Best wishes for an enjoyable summer.
In 2013, with the help of Shelly Zegart, Through the Flower gifted the International Honor Quilt (IHQ) to the University of Louisville and its Hite Art Institute. The gift was made with the hope that the hundreds of commemorative triangular quilts from all over the world would be used by the University in creative ways, especially in light of the rich quilt heritage found in Kentucky.
After receiving the gift, in 2014 the Hite Institute catalogued all the quilts, and in April 2015, the Institute hosted a group of scholars, curators and professors at an intensive all-day visioning charette. The charette focused on ways to explore, engage and investigate options to maximize opportunities for the many potential uses that the quilts and their documentation offer. During the charette, broader discussions included opportunities for the IHQ to be a model of art as a catalyst for empowerment, change and social justice issues.
In the collaborative spirit of the IHQ, many individuals at the University were involved in integrating the collection into the Hite collection as well as into the University's research resources and curriculum. John Begley acted as project coordinator, while graduate curatorial assistants, with outside assistance, worked on the processing necessary to complete the registration documentation of the quilts. The entire IHQ collection of 539 triangle quilts with the accompanying historic documentation of each quilt has been digitized by Amy Fordham, Hite Visual Resources curator, and can be viewed, along with the history of the IHQ, on the University website.
The University is already creating interdisciplinary academic programs that highlight the intersection of art, society and social change. Dean Kimberly Kempf-Leonard announced that every freshman enrolled in English 102 will study and explore the IHQ. This concept of broadly studying the IHQ is very exciting and helps realize a time when male students study what women have done in the same way as their female counterparts have studied male achievements.
Update from Penn State
by Karen Keifer-Boyd with contributions by Leslie C. Sotomayor
From August 2014 to April 2015, once a week, Penn State hosted an open invitation to students, faculty, staff, and community to meet in Penn State Arts Cottage's Feminist Resource Suite with its Judy Chicago and Visiting Scholar office for "Teatime Feminist Conversations." Summaries of the conversations are archived in the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection. Over our cups of tea, topics emerge organically from implementing Chicago's circle pedagogical approach. Many of the themes that arose are similar to those found in the Collection from Chicago's teaching, such as navigating personal and work/student responsibilities, feminist identity, and systemic inequities. The topics that emerged—complex, delicate, and necessary—were rape culture, sexual harassment, and violence on campuses. Our conversation entangled issues of race, gender, social activism, socio-economic structures, and repetitive obstacles. We felt encouraged in our active listening to each other, a brave act in itself as we departed with hope in how our stories are valuable in sharing with others.
From February 16 to April 24, 2015, WTF (Where's the Focus?), a collaboration with The Delta Program High School in State College, Penn State, The Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, and the Jenna Marie Foundation, used the Collection to guide the pedagogy of a project to culminate in the exhibition of a mural, which was in the end censored. The challenges many high school students experience are expressed in the mural with slurs that have marked them resulting in emotional and physical abuse. The unveiling of this mural was set as a collaborative piece and activism for mental health awareness at the Delta school. Our other goal is for the students themselves to take ownership of this and initiate conversations about the piece with their peers throughout this process by discussing, contributing, and use it as a tool of sharing and leadership; this in fact is happening now with the students.
To our surprise, the mural was not allowed to be displayed at the event, but instead, it was housed in the art classroom at the school. However, this was also a teachable moment in terms of The Dinner Party, which was cancelled at some venues due to the content and imagery of the work. At the same time, it's important to remember that even though it took thirty years for Judy Chicago to achieve her goal of permanent housing of The Dinner Party, it is now on exhibition at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where it accounts for 20% of the museum visitorship. The moral of this is NEVER GIVE UP.
Why Is Your Support Important
When we have asked for your support, we have listed many of our long terms goals; creating a lasting historic legacy; partnering with appropriate institutions; and serving as an independent resource center. This time we'd like to point out a few of our ongoing activities that your donations help fund:
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Video of A Butterfly for Brooklyn will be shown, followed by a discussion of the project by Judy Chicago, Donald Woodman, and two Belen residents who helped set up the fireworks piece, Kevin Lederer and Aaron Silva.
Reception to follow at the Belen Harvey House Museum, 104 N. 1st Street, Belen, NM.
Free admission. Reservations required. For information and reservations contact Ronnie Torres at (505) 514-3911
Belen Public Library
Get Out Your Calendars
Around the Country
Through June 14, 2015
Honoring Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro's 1972 Womanhouse project, this exhibition brings together twenty-one female artists, including Chicago and Schapiro, to pay homage to a generation that paved the way for contemporary female expression.
Eric Firestone Gallery
43rd International Glass Invitational Award Exhibition
Through June 26, 2015
The largest international glass exhibition in the world. Judy Chicago was awarded the Brilliance Award for her work on the highest levels of innovation, intensity, and imagination within the contemporary glass community.
Summer of Glass
June 27 – Sept 13, 2015
Group show features the 43rd International Glass Invitational Award Winners, including Judy Chicago, winner of the Brilliance Award.
Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Evil: A Matter of Intent
Sept 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016
Group show will include a study Judy Chicago created while working on the Holocaust Project.
Hebrew Union College
LA / MA
Sept 12 – Dec 13, 2015
The Rose, renowned for its collection of American Pop Art, presents this survey exhibition of 1960s Pop Art that will place work of East Coast-based artists alongside the work of their West Coast peers.
The Rose Art Museum Brandeis University
Art AIDS America
Oct 2015 – Sept 2016
Co-curated by Jonathan D. Katz and Rock Hushka, and organized by the Tacoma Art Museum, this traveling exhibition examines 30 years of art responding to the AIDS epidemic in the U.S.
Tacoma Art Museum
Zuckerman Museum of Art
Bronx Museum of the Arts
Around the World
Gender in Art
Through Sept 27, 2015
Group show examines the social construction of gender roles and women's fight for equality.
MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
Arts & Foods
In conjunction with Expo Milano 2015
Through Nov 1, 2015
Arts & Foods is curated by Germano Celant and opens in conjunction with Expo Milano 2015.
The Great Mother
In conjunction with Expo Milano 2015
Aug 26 – Nov 15, 2015
Bringing together 127 international artists and curated by Massimiliano Gioni, The Great Mother explores the figure of the mother, motherhood, and the condition of women through a century of artworks.
The World Goes Pop
Sept 2015 – Summer 2016
This groundbreaking reassessment of Pop Art surveys global engagements with Pop, its origins and its socio-political underpinnings. All four of Judy Chicago's seminal Car Hoods will be exhibited.
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo
Star Cunts and Other Images
Opens Sept 21, 2015
A solo exhibition that celebrates the visual language and core imagery of Judy Chicago's minimalist and early feminist work from the 60s and 70s.
Why Not Judy Chicago?
Oct 2015 – Sept 2016
Curated by renowned feminist curator Xabier Arakistain and drawing from works across Chicago's career, this exhibition both celebrates her oeuvre and challenges the ongoing institutional resistance to her work.
CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux
The Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal
For those who are not able to join the in-person dialogue, you are invited to the Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal, which is part of the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection online.
In 2014–2015, Penn State's Special Collections, HUB-Robeson Galleries, and the School of Visual Arts produced 17 videos from teaching with the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection accessible at the Dialogue Portal.
Limited Time Offer from TTF Shop
Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist
Judy Chicago's 75th birthday was July 20, 2014 but we're still celebrating! Special offer for Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist by Judy Chicago. Regularly $14.95, special purchase price of $10.75 includes personal autograph by Judy Chicago and free shipping within the continental US. Reduced price only through July 20, 2015.
More timely than ever in light of her many achievements, this out of print second volume of Chicago's autobiography probes issues of gender, power and history that also characterize her monumental works, and asks hard questions about art in our culture.
Visit the TTF Shop for personally signed books and other items not available elsewhere.