Judy Chicago: Visions for Feminist Art
Controversy, awe, and revelation distinguish Judy Chicago's now 40 year career in the art world. Chicago's large body of work is inseparable from her ideologies pertaining to women's crippling exclusion from male dominated disciplines within art, history, and society overall. Her work is characterized by a desire to establish feminine iconography ("central-core imagery") and create a feminist lexicon applicable to the arts as to validate and celebrate women's experience. Viewing her artwork as a tool for social change and dialogue, Chicago has incorporated collaboration and consciousness-raising into her art making process. Thus, her collaborators gain not only the participation of creating the works, but also share in the cultivation of a female (art) history. In her grand endeavors such as Womanhouse, The Dinner Party, and the Birth Project, Chicago has created an art history of women-- a history which has often been overlooked and erased. This paper demonstrates how Chicago strove to elevate women's "craft" art to the level of fine art, to explore the often silenced conditions of women, and to produce truthful renditions of women's experiences, culture, and heritage.