[Feminist Art] Judy Chicago on how working with Dior brought a long-planned feminist art project to fruition
Welcome to this episode of Dior Talks. This podcast series will explore the connections between Creative Director of Women’s collections Maria Grazia Chiuri and contemporary women artists and curators.
In this episode, Katy Hessel, a writer, curator and art historian, speaks with Judy Chicago, the American first-generation feminist artist, educator and writer. Her collaboration with Maria Grazia Chiuri on the Dior Spring-Summer 2020 haute couture show resulted in both the realization of a large-scale work planned since the 1970s and the creation of new work in the process.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1939, to a mother who fostered a love of art in her children, a young Judy (she would choose the surname Chicago in 1970) took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago before attending UCLA.
One of only a small number of women to gain a level of recognition in the 1960s L.A. art scene, her work would evolve from resembling that of her contemporaries to acting as a uniquely powerful mirror of her feminist beliefs. To further this, she founded the first feminist art program in the US, encouraging her students to find their identity as women artists.
Her work embraces techniques ranging from fiberglass sculpture and pyrotechnics to embroidery and the use of auto spray painting, from wall pieces to huge installations.
Having overcome what amounted to a decades-long stream of institutional misogyny from the male-dominated art world – most noticeably following the creation of her landmark and rightfully iconic feminist artwork ‘The Dinner Party’, now on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum – she has seen her extensive catalogue of work rediscovered and reappraised in recent years, as the world has finally caught up with its pioneering importance.
Discover a selection of works:
The Dinner Party, 1974-1979
Flesh Garden series, 1971
Pasadena Life Savers, 1970