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Judy Chicago, the female artist who took on the art world patriarchy and won

2 min read  ·  06 Jun 2023

Judy Chicago, Flight Hood (1965/2001). Copyright the artist, courtesy of Salon 94

Judy Chicago, Flight Hood (1965/2001). Copyright the artist, courtesy of Salon 94

Judy Chicago is on the HENI News radar ahead of the veteran feminist artist’s first survey show in New York, which is due to open at the New Museum in the fall.

Judy Chicago’s HENI Score—a unique artist sentiment— has surged by 78% ahead of the ambitious show, which will include works from Chicago’s long career along with pieces by other female artists long overlooked by mostly male art historians and curators.

The New Mexico-based artist, who was born in 1939, is working with New Museum’s chief curator, Massimiliano Gioni on the exhibition, “Judy Chicago: Herstory,” which aims to rewrite art history, just as she did with her pioneering work The Dinner Party (1974–79). The epic installation, which celebrates great women in history in encyclopaedic detail, is on long-term show at the Brooklyn Museum. The museum organised a touring show of Chicago's early works in 2014.

Chicago has worked in a variety of media, from her early spray painted car hoods to stained glass, fabric, signature ceramics and colorful firework performances.

Chicago works with Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, Turner Carroll, Sante Fe, and in the past with New York's Salon 94 (now LGDR). Her works have been presented at major art fairs, including Art Basel and Frieze.

Chicago’s auction prices have not matched her status as a trailblazing feminist artist, lagging behind many of her male contemporaries. The artist’s auction sales over the past two years have totaled a modest $42,000.

Her works have been offered from around $800,000 for major pieces to $55,000 for works on paper recently. Chicago’s decorated plates, editions from The Dinner Party, have sold for around $200,000 each.

Chicago first made her mark in Los Angeles in the 1970s, famously posing as a boxer in shorts and sweatpants in a ring. The feisty image was published by Artforum. Now, something of a living legend of feminist art, Chicago collaborated with Dior on the set design of its haute couture show in Paris in 2020. Visitors entered Chicago’s 25-foot-long goddess, The Female Divine, in the garden of the Museé Rodin in Paris. She also designed a range of handbags for the fashion brand. In 2023, she collaborated with illycaffè on a range of coffee cups.

“I spent almost the first two decades of my career in Los Angeles where the art scene was singularly inhospitable to women,” she told Artspace. “The biggest compliment a woman artist could get was to be told that she 'painted like a man.' So you can imagine what would happen if your work was 'womanly' in form or content.”

To get a deeper understanding of Judy Chicago’s career visit her HENI Dashboard; a unique graphical data tool illustrating an artist’s auction sales, shows, profiles, mentions and their HENI Score. You can search for any one of the 100,000 Artist Dashboards to quickly appreciate their trajectory as well as sharing via email, text and WhatsApp.