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Surveying Judy Chicago:1970-2010 at the ACA Gallery

Art, Lily's notes, exhibit

Judy Chicago at the ACA Gallery by Jeff French Segall

Judy Chicago at the ACA Gallery by Jeff French Segall

Surveying Judy Chicago: 1970-2010 at the ACA Gallery is a small exhibit with excellent examples of Ms Chicago’s creative, extensive and very personal works in several media. It is very clear why she has been an important influence in the art world, and for women especially. Her humanist and feminist portrayal of women and their physical essence  stands out as a beacon of light against the usual art world’s women as either pretty (or sometimes “mysterious”) sex objects, or still life dolls.

Ms Chicago delicately explained to the opening attendees, that the lithograph called “The Crowning” referred to the moment that a baby’s head first appears during birth, those us us who have had children needed no explanation, it is probably the kind of piece that makes some uncomfortable, really unfortunately, since it is strong and powerful visual statement.

It is so important to have a woman depict women and their experience of the world.

Judy Chicago has had the outstanding courage to deal with topics such as sexual abuse during the Shoa. For more on this ignored topic, please see Remember The Women Institute and the new, impotant book edited by Sonja M Hedgepeth and Rochelle G Saidel titled SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST JEWISH WOMEN DURING THE HOLOCAUST.

Judy Chicago’s most moving work in this exhibit is her acrylic and oil on canvas called “The Fall”, which depicts a summation of history from prehistoric times through the evil of the Shoa.

I also love her newer work in glass and included in the exhibit is a set of lithographs which are a mini-survey in themselves. There is an example of her “life-saver” paintings, as well.

Ms Chicago commented at the opening, that her art teachers didn’t like her subject matter which at the time was feminine “butterflies” and that they did not like her color choices: they wanted her to become an abstract expressionist. It is a great example of how art schools can have a tremendous damper to creativity…something really new is often not appreciated…But Judy Chicago survived that experience and clearly many more challenges.

She may be best known for her The Dinner Party, which is on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum, and this current exhibit has many fine works you should get to know and enjoy by this unique artist and person. Ms Chicago is an author of over 12 books, and her latest book is Frida Kahlo: Face to Face, written with Frances Borzello.

ACA Gallery, October 14, 2010 – November 27, 2010, 529 West 20th Street, 5th floor.


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