Judy Chicago: Making Advances
November 10-December 23, 2022
Jessica Silverman is pleased to announce “Judy Chicago: Making Advances”, a solo exhibition featuring a series of new minimalist sculptures alongside historical drawings that explore color as a means of transformation and perceptual awakening, on view from November 10 to January 7, 2023. Chicago began her exploration of color in the 1960s within a reduced formal vocabulary of geometric shapes. In doing so, she recast the concerns of minimalism as perceptual matters of selfhood and feminist subjectivity that still inform her practice today.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a series of five new sculptures titled Moving Parts (1967/2022) made of clear acrylic forms on variously colored mirrors of gold, blush, magenta, purple, and teal. Each of the five sculptures contains 13 moveable acrylic pieces that capture and refract brilliant color through their cylindric forms and rounded tops. Set against a mirrored base, the polymorphic, erotically suggestive pieces appear to extend in multiple directions. They create the illusion of overlapping planes and sharply edged color, reminiscent of the radiating petal formations in the artist’s Through the Flower (1974) imagery.
In 1967, Chicago conceived and created this sculpture on a colorless mirror in a work titled 3.5.5 Acrylic Shapes. The freedom of its moveable parts suggests relational interactions, and challenges the rigid, dictatorial norms of much minimalist art. Though colored mirrors were not available in 1967, their introduction dramatically expands the work’s meaning. Seamlessly merging surface, form and color, Moving Parts further extends Chicago’s feminist gesture: rather than imposed upon a surface, color is integrated into the perceptual experience.
On the walls are ombre drawings made in the 1960s and 70s that investigate the geometry of feminine flesh. Rectangular fans scatter gradients of color from a center slit onto a horizontal landscape, melting rigid structure into soft sensations. Circular trifecta, sometimes called “whirling donuts,” spin color around a central core with the electricity of female orgasm.
For Chicago, who spent her formative years in the blushing light of Los Angeles and has long lived under the prismatic skies of the New Mexico desert, color’s ability to convey emotive states is integral to her practice and deeply intertwined with her female-centered imagery.
Judy Chicago (b. 1939, Chicago) has made an irrevocable impact on art history. She is best known for The Dinner Party, which is on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. She has work in the collections of the British Museum and Tate, London; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; National Gallery, Washington D.C.; LACMA, Los Angeles; MOCA Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Getty Trust and Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Art Institute of Chicago, and over 25 university art museums. In 2023, Chicago will have a major retrospective at a New York museum. She has enjoyed recent museum surveys at the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. and ICA Miami. Chicago’s work has been exhibited in a broad range of major thematic group shows such as “Pacific Standard Time: Made in LA” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; “Ends of the Earth” at Haus der Kunst, Berlin and “The World Goes Pop” at Tate Modern, London. Chicago lives and works in Belen, NM and is represented by Jessica Silverman, San Francisco and Jeffrey Deitch.