Kokoli, Alexandra M. ORCID logoORCID: Sisters. In: Judy Chicago. Dickson, Rachel, ed. Lund Humphries, pp. 169-177. ISBN 9781848221208. [Book Section]

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For women artists, retrospectives matter more – and differently. In When we Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-vision, Adrienne Rich specifically addresses the importance of reviewing and revising the canon as an enabling activity for women writers. Yet revision is equally necessary within a body of work such as Judy Chicago’s, not only for new interpretations to become possible, but also for the tracing of a feminist history, a tradition of politics and art practice that resists canonisation. This essay responds to the survey exhibition of Chicago’s work at the Ben Uri Gallery, London (11 October 2012 to 3 February 2013). In doing so, I am evoking the increasingly accepted notion that exhibitions are not only the product of scholarly research but a visual form of it and that, as such, exhibitions engender new knowledge and put forward arguments. Moreover, instead of just a celebration of personal achievement, this group of works charts a journey through four decades by Judy Chicago as well as, more broadly, women artists in the age of the feminist waves. The wider relevance of this journey is highlighted by the inclusion of works by other artists but is also evident within Chicago’s oeuvre itself: the fact that we now have a developed vocabulary at our disposal that allows us to meaningfully use classifications such as “vaginal iconography” is testament to the profoundly transformative impact that the work of Chicago and her contemporaries (“work” in the sense of artistic outputs as well as the labour of resistance) has made on art history, theory and practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > CREATE/Feminisms cluster
Item ID: 11908
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Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 14:22
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 07:31

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