November 15, 2019 – June, 2020
Judy Chicago (b. 1939) is a groundbreaking American artist who has worked to bring greater recognition to women in the visual arts. Chicago’s 1971–72 video Women and Smoke, California documents a series of performances that Chicago choreographed in the California landscape.
Combining colorful bodies and smoke bombs to create paintings off the canvas, the scenes conjure the power and mystery of ancient goddess rituals, an important reference for feminist artists who wanted to reclaim a male-dominated history of art. Said the artist, “It softened everything. There was a moment when the smoke began to clear, but a haze lingered. And the whole world was feminized—if only for a moment.”