Truly, postmodernism was not only an era that dealt with a specific period of years in history but more importantly the moment when people began to liberate their minds from the concept of an objective, absolute truth. Judy Chicago was one of the believers of such a concept.
Growing up in a time when women’s actions and works were limited and bound by their gender, Chicago worked on her art alongside other male colleagues with the pieces more focused on male contexts. At the end of the day, however, Chicago still wanted to do something different, saying, “I was fed up and wanted to be myself as a woman” (Chicago, 2012). Later on, as the Brooklyn Museum’s website would put it, “Chicago pioneered Feminist Art and art education in the early 1970s, through unique programs for women at California State University-Fresno and later (with Miriam Schapiro) at the California Institute of the Arts” (http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/dinner_party/judy_chicago.php).
Chicago’s works included that of sculptures, paintings and other works that utilized different types of media categorized under multimedia, installation art and conceptual, all recognized as common characteristics of what is called postmodern art. The underlying themes behind Chicago’s works are those that went in line with her feministic stance in art. A biography of Judy Chicago said that, “as part of her commitment to create art from a female point of view, Judy Chicago started working on a massive multimedia project in 1974” (http://www.biography.com/people/judy-chicago-9246631) which was then entitled The Dinner Party.
The Dinner Party was a collaboration of hundreds of women volunteers whose names were written and inscribed on the artwork itself. Besides The Dinner Party, Chicago went on to work on paintings and artwork that depicted images of genitalia all employing its own message of feministic liberalism. Mostly, Chicago’s work centered on her goal “to overcome the erasure of women’s achievements” (http://www.judychicago.com/about/legacy.php) especially throughout the course of history.
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Just like any postmodern concept, conventional ideas about identity, history, and culture were all questioned and even challenged in Chicago’s art. She insisted on expressing how women were continually “erased” in the pages of history despite their achievements and contributions.
The culture during her time left little importance on women’s work and/ or roles. Chicago’s influence and confidence made her a leader of the feminist movement particularly in the field of art. Her contributions seemed quite radical, but nonetheless, proved her point and conveyed her message not only in her locale but also to the rest of the world.
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