Multicolor Rearrangeable Board Game - Judy Chicago - Jessica Silverman Gallery
Multicolor Rearrangeable Board Game
Acrylic on wood with plexi lid and 12 rearrangeable pieces
18 x 18 x 4 inches / 45.7 x 45.7 x 10.2 cm
Most board games are about hierarchy, competition, and war. In chess, the low-ranking pawns are expendable and the match ends when the king is dead. As metaphors for egalitarian societies and affable mixed-race play, Chicago created rainbow-colored-block sculptures in two sizes in 1965 – one for the tabletop and one as free-standing public sculpture. Significantly, curators and collectors of these works are at liberty to arrange the blocks as they see fit. These works pay homage to the adage: it's not winning that counts but how you play the game.
Chicago deployed rainbow colors a decade before the LGBTQ+ movement adopted the Pride flag. Reacting to the restrained palette of Minimalism, an artistic movement dominated by white men, Chicago explored the return of the repressed and championed the struggles of the oppressed, including women, people of color, and sexual minorities.