What if Judy Chicago Ruled the World? A Sweeping Survey at the New Museum Proves How Ahead-of-the-Curve the Feminist Icon Really Is

In a clever curatorial twist, there is a knockout show-within-a-show in “Herstory,” the compelling six-decade survey of the feminist icon Judy Chicago which opened at the New Museum in New York today. Amid floors devoted solely to Chicago’s work, one section, entitled “The City of Ladies,” places her works in dialogue with those of other women artists from across the centuries, from Hilma af Klint to Frida Kahlo.

This curatorial vignette is worth the price of admission in and of itself and underscores larger tendencies in the artist’s practice. Chicago’s hard-to-quantify oeuvre is defined by her broad buckshot scope (and laser-sharp aim)—she is the chameleonic embodiment of a group show. Colored smoke, fireworks, airbrushed car hoods, sculpture, needlepoint, performance, photography, ceramics—the list of mediums she’s mastered goes on and on.

Featured Image: Judy Chicago, Evening Fan (1971). Courtesy of the artist. Collection Jay Franke and David Herro, Miami Beach, FL

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