'Surveying Judy Chicago: Five Decades' opens Jan. 21 at the Palmer Museum of Art

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Palmer Museum of Art will present "Surveying Judy Chicago: Five Decades," a major exhibition charting the career of Judy Chicago, who is inextricably connected to the feminist art movement and whose magnum opus, "The Dinner Party" (1974–79) — the centerpiece of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum — remains one of the iconic works of the 20th century.

This five-decade survey considerably expands our understanding of the trajectory of Chicago’s career and reveals the breadth of her output from the late 1960s to the present. Early abstract spray paintings like "Pasadena Lifesavers Yellow Series #1," 1969–70, demonstrate Chicago’s early exploration of industrial materials in the midst of the “Finish Fetish” movement, but also anticipate the pulsating vibrancy and “core imagery” that define much of her later work.

Chicago’s definitive shift to figuration in the years immediately following the popular success of "The Dinner Party" is amply demonstrated in the cosmically matrilineal "Earth Birth" (1983, from the "Birth Project"), a mural-scale piece produced in collaboration with textile and needlework artists; and "Cartoon for The Fall" (1987, from the "Holocaust Project: From Darkness into Light"), an equally monumental canvas signaling the artist’s renewed engagement with the human condition and an expanded, indeed global, context of injustice and oppression.

"Surveying Judy Chicago: Five Decades" features numerous works drawn from private collections, including a selection of test plates and 39 process drawings for "The Dinner Party"; a suite of prints surveying her career; and recent sculptures in bronze and cast glass that confirm Chicago’s continued determination to discover or revisit processes that best serve her emotionally compelling, narrative-driven, multimedia works. The exhibition is part of the campus-wide celebration of the artist’s 75th birthday and the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, an important collection of archival material on feminist art education now open to the public at the University Libraries.

"Surveying Judy Chicago: Five Decades" was organized by the museum in partnership with A.R.T. Corp.

EXHIBITION RELATED EVENTS

-- Dana Carlisle Kletchka, curator of education, will lead a Judy Chicago Gallery Conversation titled "Feminism(s) in the Gallery" at 12:10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24.

-- Karen Keifer-Boyd, professor of art education and women’s studies, will lead a Judy Chicago Gallery Conversation titled "Futures of Feminist Pasts" at 12:10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.

-- Wanda Knight, associate professor of art education and women’s studies, will lead a Judy Chicago Gallery Conversation titled "Mirror, mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Finest of Them All?: D(EVALUATION) of Black Female Beauty" at 12:10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.

-- The work of Judy Chicago is foundational to the feminist art movement of the 1970s, but what might it represent for the young feminists, artists and visual art educators of today? Join members of the Penn State Feminist Club, Triota (Penn State Academic Women’s Studies Honor Society), the student chapter of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association and others for a group tour of the exhibition followed by a discussion titled "My Generation: Surveying Judy Chicago," moderated by Dana Carlisle Kletchka, curator of education, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

-- Susan Russell, associate professor of theater, will lead a Judy Chicago Gallery Conversation titled "The Vagina Dialogues" at 12:10 p.m. Friday, March 21.

-- In 2011, Penn State acquired the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, considered one of the most important private collections of archival materials on the subject of feminist art education. Open to the public, it is housed in the University Archives in the Special Collections Library and includes videos, photographs and notes on Chicago’s teaching projects. Come participate in the Judy Chicago Symposium titled "Planting a Feminist Art Education Archive" on Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6. This symposium celebrates Penn State's relationship with this pioneering artist, educator and author. The Judy Chicago Symposium is free, but registration is required. To view the schedule and register, visit http://judychicago.arted.psu.edu/.

-- Judy Chicago will present an American Art Lecture Series titled "Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education" at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Berg Auditorium, Life Sciences Building. This lecture is part of the Judy Chicago Symposium mentioned above. It is a free event, but registration is required. To view the schedule and register, visit http://judychicago.arted.psu.edu/.

-- Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, associate professor of English and women's studies, will lead a Judy Chicago Gallery Conversation titled "Judy Chicago and the Promise of Utopia"
 at 12:10 p.m. Friday, April 11.

-- Gabeba Baderoon, assistant professor of women’s studies and African and African-American studies, will lead a Judy Chicago Gallery Conversation titled "The Conversation Around the Table: Feminist Art and the Transnational" at 12:10 p.m. Friday, April 18.

-- In the Drs. Albert and Lorraine Kligman Print and Drawing Study Room for the Paper Views, a one-day exhibition curated by Judy Chicago and Karen Keifer-Boyd, professor of art education and women’s studies, titled "Judy Chicago Views" will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 25.

-- Karen Keifer-Boyd, professor of art education and women’s studies, will lead a Paper Views Conversation titled "Judy Chicago Views
" at 1 p.m. Friday, April 25. 

The Judy Chicago events are co-sponsored by the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State School of Visual Arts, the Institute for Arts and Humanities, College of Arts and Architecture Office of Research, The Eberly Family Special Collections Library in the University Libraries, Penn State School of Visual Arts John M. Anderson Endowed Lecture Series, HUB-Robeson Galleries, Women’s Studies Program, Department of Art History, Through the Flower and National Art Education Association Women’s Caucus.

The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is located on Curtin Road and admission is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays. Winter break hours are noon to 4 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 12.

The Palmer Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Also on view at the Palmer Museum of Art this spring are "British Watercolors from the Permanent Collection," Jan. 7 through May 4; and "Forging Alliances," Jan. 7 through May 11.

For more information or to request images, contact Jennifer Feehan, coordinator of membership and public relations, at 814-863-9182 or jenfeehan@psu.edu.

Contacts: 
Last Updated January 07, 2014