Expressing herself through painting, sculpture and installations in addition to ceramics and fabric, Judy Chicago tackles themes that begin with the female body and broaden into such issues of growing relevance as the climate emergency, as well as the rights of Native American peoples and the horrors of the Holocaust. As well as pursuing her purely artistic activities, she has played the roles of educator, writer, historian and activist.
Judy Chicago, born in 1939, is one of the most influential female artists to have emerged from the American scene of the 1960s, and is considered one of the most revolutionary voices in art during the last century. In 1970, in a gesture that was both simple and radical in equal measure, the artist decided to throw off the names and constraints imposed by patriarchal culture and male dominance by legally changing her name to Judy Chicago: in doing so, she rejected both her father’s surname, Cohen, and that of her first husband, Gerowitz, choosing instead the name of her native city as her new surname. This marked the birth of one of the last living legends of contemporary American art.