Serpentine Presents Judy Chicago Revelations 

Trailblazing artist, author, educator, cultural historian and feminist Judy Chicago has her largest solo presentation in a London institution at Serpentine from 23rd May to 1st September. Judy Chicago:Revelations focuses on Chicago’s drawing and brings together new and little-seen works, preparatory studies, audio and visual. 

The exhibition features several immersive, multi-media elements, including an AR app, a video recording booth, and other audio-visual components which set this show apart from previous surveys of Chicago’s work. With never-before-seen sketchbooks, films and slides, video interviews of participants from The Dinner Party (1974–79), audio recordings, and a guided tour of The Dinner Party by Chicago herself, this novel approach to exhibiting Chicago’s work makes the artist’s presence felt throughout the gallery.

Judy Chicago (b. 1939, Chicago, USA) came to prominence in the late 1960s when she challenged the male-dominated landscape of the art world by making work that was boldly from a woman’s perspective. An artistic polymath, Chicago’s work is defined by a commitment to craft and experimentation, either through her choice of subject matter or the method and materials she employs.

Throughout her six-decade career, Chicago has contested the absence and erasure of women in the Western cultural canon, developing a distinctive visual language that gives visibility to their experiences. To this aim, Chicago has produced both individual and collaborative projects that grappled with themes of birth and creation, the social construct of masculinity, her Jewish identity, notions of power and powerlessness, extinction, and expressed her longstanding concern for climate justice.

“Revelations, both the exhibition and book, expresses my lifelong commitment to gender equality and my deeply held belief that people must come together to change the patriarchal paradigm, which – at this point in history – has become lethal to all creatures, human and nonhuman, as well as to the planet.” Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago, 2023 Photo © Donald Woodman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The exhibition takes its name from an unknown illuminated manuscript Chicago penned in the early 1970s which will be published for the first time in conjunction with the exhibition by Serpentine and Thames & Hudson. Titled Revelations, this visionary work is a radical retelling of human history recovering some of the stories of women that society sought to erase, and one that Chicago never imagined would be published in her lifetime. Audio excerpts from the book can be heard in each of the galleries through an accompanying audio guide, seamlessly creating a link between visual art and written word that has occupied the artist’s practice since the 1970s.

Judy Chicago: Revelations is at Serpentine North from 23rd May to 1st September, 2024.

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