Insights & opinion

Revelations of Feminism: Judy Chicago’s Impact and Inspiration at the Serpentine Gallery

The Judy Chicago show at the Serpentine Gallery, "Revelations," celebrates feminist art and the often overlooked contributions of women, with Chicago crediting her supportive father for fostering her groundbreaking confidence and equality-focused approach. The exhibition is a vibrant reflection of her dedication to highlighting women's artistry and history.

June 13, 2024

I recently went to the opening of the Judy Chicago show at the Serpentine Gallery and highly recommend a visit.  I have long admired Judy’s practice and her important place within the feminist art movement.

Entitled Revelations, The exhibition takes its name from a manuscript Chicago authored in the early 1970s, while working on The Dinner Party, an iconic feminist art work highlighting dozens of important women in history. The manuscript is an archival gem, unravelling the work of women society sought to neglect overturn or erase.

It was an honour and pleasure to hear Judy talk about her career as an artist dedicated to feminism and how she has highlighted the continual artistry and craft women have been creating for centuries.

In her welcome speech, she talked about working in a “completely different paradigm” than most of her colleagues for many years and the tenacity needed to forge a path unlike most.

Instead of hiding femininity, or making work with a masculine bent, Judy embraced womanhood confidently, not only in the meaning of her work but the visuals as well.

In talking about her confidence she said “do not underestimate the impact of being a fathered child - I was a fathered child”

Judy explained how in her family home her father set the tone of equality.

At the dinner table everyone was allowed a voice and everyone’s opinion was heard - including her own.

The impact of a father who respected his daughter, valued women’s minds and saw equality before it was the expected norm bore partial responsibility for Judy Chicago’s groundbreaking artwork.

I’ve been thinking about this idea of the fathered child, the importance of healthy male figures in a girls life and how impactful this connection can be in regards to mental health.

Do go see Judy’s show at the Serpentine, and do think of this - She gave her moving and thoughtful welcome speech wearing a gold lame jumpsuit, holding  a sparkly lava lamp like walking cane.

Pure JOY.

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