Crocker Art Museum Presents Survey of Groundbreaking Feminist Artist Judy Chicago

Media Contact: Kathleen Richards
Media: 916.808.5157

Crocker Art Museum Presents Survey of
Groundbreaking Feminist Artist Judy Chicago


“Surveying Judy Chicago: 1970–2010” on view March 3 through May 13, 2012

Sacramento, Calif. – November 29, 2011 – The Crocker Art Museum will present a career-spanning exhibition of the work of artist and feminist Judy Chicago in “Surveying Judy Chicago: 1970–2010.” Chicago’s convention-shattering approach to provocative themes and diverse media is explored in this exhibit of 29 works. The exhibition will be on view at the Crocker from March 3 through May 13, 2012. This is the first traveling exhibition to include her glass sculpture.

Chicago has continuously brought her passion for social dialogue and artistry to bear on many issues. A test plate from “The Dinner Party, 1974–79” is included in this exhibition as are studies completed for “Birth Project, 1980–1985.” She has also made innovative use of both traditional and non-traditional media in works that highlight her conceptual and graphic talents, from lithographs to drawings, watercolors, and mixed-media paintings. Often the medium denotes meaning in Chicago’s work as is true of early sprayed acrylic paintings on acrylic supports. The softness achieved by this material explores ideas of penetrability, both metaphorically and visually. In her most recent sculpture Chicago uses cast glass to challenge viewers’ expectations of the artist and her message.

Chicago became a seminal figure in American art during the 1970s. She and others of her generation made thought-provoking works of art that challenged widespread prejudices based on gender in art education, especially in universities. Chicago overcame the barriers she encountered, first with her minimal sculpture in metal, and later with a mastery of pyrotechnics for performance art. Her work became noteworthy for feminine subject matter and a softer treatment of the hard-edged styles associated with Los Angeles during the era. After introducing new feminist approaches to art education in California universities, she conceived innovative and ambitious projects that were large in scale. This included bringing many hands to bear upon her projects as in the production of her most famous installation, “The Dinner Party, 1974–79,” a multi-media, multi-year project that when finished catapulted Chicago onto the international stage.

“In the 30 years since the ‘The Dinner Party,’ Chicago has continued to expand upon the idea that art can inspire social change,” notes Diana L. Daniels, associate curator at the Crocker Art Museum. “This exhibition introduces her wide-ranging work to a new generation and places her art within the wider context of Californian art that is seen at the Crocker.”

Chicago’s art education began early by attending classes at the Chicago Art Institute. She went on to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine art at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1972, Chicago, in collaboration with artist Miriam Schapiro founded a revolutionary and influential program of study for women in the visual arts, first at California State University, Fresno, then at the California Institute of the Arts. Today, Chicago lives and works in New Mexico.

The Crocker Art Museum was the first art museum in the Western U.S. and remains one of the leading art museums in California. Established in 1885, the Museum features one of the country’s finest collections of Californian art, exceptional holdings of master drawings, a comprehensive collection of international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Thursdays. For more information, call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org. 


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