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Judy Chicago Essay

Judy Chicago was a “celebrated artisan, writer and a feminist. ” On July 20, 1939, Arthur and May Cohen of Chicago, Illinois who were then a labor organizer and a medical secretary respectively were blessed with a baby girl and they named her Judy. In 1962, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree on Fine arts at UCLA. After 2 years, she received her Master’s degree on the same course and at the same university. By 1977, Judy was already receiving accolades and rewards for her artworks and art exhibitions particularly at the “Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

” In 1969, Judy decided to change her name to Judy Chicago in honor of her hometown. She was able to conduct a “one-woman show at California State University at Fullerton in 1970. ” While Judy’s career was growing, her lovely life was not doing so well. After 2 years of marriage Jerry Gerowitz, she became a widow. Then, she met Lloyd Hamrol in 1969 and divorced him after a decade. Her last husband was Donald Woodman whom she married in 1985 (Harvard University Library). When Chicago was in her late 20’s to early 30’s, she experimented with the use of “reduced geometric shapes.

” More so, she utilized all various forms of art to convey her minimalist style. The utilization of basic forms and colors combined with the evasion of “incisive cultural commentary,” Chicago was able to put form or meaning to her ideas and art techniques. As a result, she was able to create artworks that “were formulative to her landmark “spectral color” theory that has informed all of her subsequent work” (Through the Flower). In the 1960s to 1970s, American society was energized by activism which encouraged the public to question the status quo or the ruling class.

It was in this period that Chicago was inspired to initiate a new movement in the art world called the Feminist Art (Through the Flower). The unusual political and social views of Chicago were the results of “her childhood influences such as her father who was a member of the Communist Party and recognized the oppression of women. ” She was considered to be part of the “red-diaper baby” genre wherein most of the children born in the early 1940s were raised in a progressively manner which was a “spillover of the WWII atmosphere of leftist and Communist thinkers” but in the case of Chicago, it was more of a “working-class Jews” scenario.

More so, within the family Judy, the “left-wing politics” replaced Orthodox Judaism. ” Through this, Judy was shaped into having an identity that was linked to the Jewish culture with a reputation of being an intellectual with “a commitment to social justice. ” This clearly became the foundation for the creation of Chicago’s radical and socially relevant artworks including the Holocaust Project: From Darkness Into Light (WordPress. com). Chicago started to teach feminism through art education and other academic programs for women at “California State University, Fresno, and the California Institute of the Arts.

” According to Chicago, “Women’s history was neglected or added on, as opposed to integrated into the full history of the human species…both implicitly and explicitly the message that is communicated is that what women did wasn’t important” (Pogrebin 1). It was in these academic institutions that Chicago founded the “Feminist Art Program” that yielded the Womanhouse, which was the “first installation demonstrating an openly female point of view in art.

Chicago’s ideas helped to initiate a worldwide Feminist Art movement. ” Then this was followed by the creation of Chicago’s one of most popular masterpiece, The Dinner Party. This artwork was focused on portraying the history of women. It was a multimedia project that showed the evolution of the female specie in the Western Civilization. Because of the forward-thinking concept and unique approach and the enormous support from the people all over the world, The Dinner Party became a huge success (Through the Flower).

The Dinner Party is a 48 feet triangle-shaped table which is set for 39 significant women from history to mythology. Each of the set of plate was intended to visually honor the corresponding woman. Different types and designs of table wares were strewn all over the table. But it was the plates that embodied Chicago’s creativity and distinctive qualities. The plates were painted with “an undulating, flowerlike abstraction of femininity. ” Additionally, the porcelain base contained the 999 more names of distinguished women all over the world.

In this particular work of art, Chicago was trying to impart women’s history to broad and different types of individuals (WordPress. com). Overall The Dinner Party was a huge undertaking for Chicago that reflected her passion, beliefs and personality. After this, Chicago ventured into making another great piece of art which was called Birth Project. This project was comprised of several massive “series of birth and creation images for needlework,” which were intricately made by skilled workers from different parts of the country.

In her later years, Chicago was able to produce numerous artworks in various forms such as paintings, sculptures, drawings and many others. In Powerplay, she incorporated a feminist point of view to the “gender construct of masculinity” (Through the Flower). Through Judy Chicago’s unwavering conviction that art can be an instrument for conveying “intellectual transformation, social change and women’s right to engage in the highest level of art production,” she was able to change how women perceived in modern world.

Because of her many achievements, she was able to establish herself as an “an artist, writer, teacher, and humanist whose work and life are models for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and women’s right to freedom of expression” (Judychicago. com). Works Cited “Biography. ” 2009. Judychicago. com. 13 April 2009 <http://www. judychicago. com/? p=biography> “Chicago, Judy. ” September 2004. Harvard University Library. 13 April 2009 <http://oasis. lib. harvard. edu/oasis/deliver/deepLinkcollection=oasis&uniqueId=sch00326> “Judy Chicago. ”2009.

Through the Flower. 12 April 2009 <http://www. throughtheflower. org/page. php? p=40&n=3> “Judy Chicago: Art As Activism. ” 26 October 2007. WordPress. com. 13 April 2009 <http://ourdescent. wordpress. com/2007/10/28/judy-chicago-art-as-activism/> Pogrebin, Robin. “Ms. Chicago, Party of 39? Your Table’s Ready in Brooklyn. 1 February 2007. The New York Times. 13 April 2009 <http://www. nytimes. com/2007/02/01/arts/design/01party. html? pagewanted=1&_r=3&fta=y>


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