Judy Chicago

Born 1939 in Chicago, IL
Lives and works in New Mexico


BA, University of California, Los Angeles, 1962
MA, University of California, Los Angeles, 1964


Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual whose career now spans five decades. Her art has been frequently exhibited in the United States and internationally, and her fourteen published books have brought her art and philosophy to readers around the world.

In the early seventies, Chicago pioneered Feminist Art and art education through a unique program for women at California State University, Fresno and later (with Miriam Schapiro) at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). While at CalArts she co-organized the ground-breaking exhibition Womanhouse in 1972. In 1974, Chicago turned her attention to the subject of women’s history to create her foundational work, The Dinner Party, which was executed between 1974 and 1979 with the participation of hundreds of volunteers. This monumental multimedia project is a symbolic history of women in Western Civilization. Roberta Smith in The New York Times said that it has become “almost as much a part of American culture as Norman Rockwell, Walt Disney, WPA murals and the AIDS quilt.” The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum is the permanent housing for The Dinner Party, which is a major step in the institutionalization of Feminist Art as a contemporary art movement.

In all her major collaborative projects, beginning with The Dinner Party and continuing through Birth Project (1980–85), Powerplay (1982–87), Holocaust Project: From Darkness into Light (1985–93), and Resolutions: A Stitch in Time (1994–2000), Chicago has chosen diverse and unusual media to fit not only her aesthetic, but also the personal, social, and political intentions of her imagery.

A lesser known but important period in Chicago’s career is the Minimalist work she created between 1965 and 1973. Some of the optical patterns explored in these works, such as circles and octagons with central cores that appear to be expanding and contracting, prefigure her feminist iconography. In addition, recent exhibitions—at LAMOCA in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris—have recognized Chicago’s output during that period as significant contributions to the direction and focus of Minimalism and, in particular, the sub-genre known as the Finish Fetish movement.

Judy Chicago has several major museum exhibitions opening this fall including, Inside the Dinner Party Studio at National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC and Roots of the Dinner Party: History in the Making at Brooklyn Museum, NY.

Chicago is included in ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, a series of commissioned prints that look at intergenerational feminism curated by Kathy Battista. The other artists in the series include Cheryl Donegan, Martine Gutierrez, Cindy Hinant, Narcissister, Tschabalala Self and Betty Tompkins.

– text partially courtesy of The Brooklyn Museum


Salon 94, New York
Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco


Tate Modern, London
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California
Museum of Fine Arts Santa Fe, New Mexico
The British Museum, London
The Hammer Museum, California
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C
Museum of Art and Design, New York
CAPC, France