JUDY CHICAGO

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‘Humankind is represented by mankind … Fake news!’, said Judy Chicago, laughing, when she met Art Basel’s video team at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. Most of the artist’s forty-year-long career has been spent debunking that myth. Her best-known work, ‘The Dinner Party’ (1974–1979), celebrates the role of women throughout history. The monumental installation has drawn over one million of visitors since its first display and is now permanently housed at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City.‘ The Dinner Party’ has sometimes overshadowed the diversity of Chicago’s practice. Yet she has tackled minimalism, land art, history painting, and embroidery, addressing topics as diverse as male domination, depression, and the Holocaust. For the ‘Birth Project (1980–85), Chicago turned her eye to what she saw as a major blind spot in art history: the representation of birth. Working with 150 volunteer needleworkers spread around the United States, she produced 85 needlepoint and textile works picturing women pregnant or giving birth, caught between joy and excruciating pain. The ‘Birth Project’ is presented in ‘A Reckoning’, Chicago’s focussed retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. In this exclusive interview, she revisits a body of work that, three decades later, has lost nothing of its urgency. Chicago is represented by Salon 94 in New York City and Jessica Silverman in Los Angeles. Discover more on artbasel.com

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