Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist, educator and intellectual whose career now spans four decades. Renowned for the convention-shattering nature of her work, Chicago has served as pioneer for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and a woman's right to freedom of expression. Her seminal work, The Dinner Party (1974-79), is a monumental, collaboratively created, mixed-media tribute to women which in March 2007 will be installed in its new permanent home at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Chicago's art is exhibited frequently in the US and internationally. Her 10 books, published in several languages, have brought her art and philosophy to readers around the world....

Born in Chicago, Judy Cohen, as she was then known, showed an early talent for drawing and was taking classes at the Art Institute by the age of 5. She received her BA from the UCLA in 1962 and completed her MA there in 1964. She says that Judy Chicago was her “underground name” before she made it official in 1970, following the death of her first husband. Nicknames, she explains, were common among LA artists in the 1960s. “Larry Bell was Ben Lux, Ed Ruscha was Eddie Russia. It was an in-thing to do in the small burgeoning LA art scene—we all listed our underground names in the phone directory. If you really knew us, you knew how to find us.”

In the 1960s, Chicago made a colorful sort of Minimalism and was one of only 3 women included in one of the movement’s most important shows, Primary Structures, at the Jewish Museum in NY in 1966. In 1970, she started the first feminist art program at Fresno State College, before establishing a similar program at the California Institute of the Arts with Miriam Schapiro the following year. Because the campus was still under construction, the two soon turned a...
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Karen Hines


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