Judy Chicago – Grand Flaming Fist
Dimensions: 20.75 x 6.5 x 7.5″
Media: etching and glass paint on cast glass
Judy Chicago has always been an innovator in artistic media. Early in her career, she was the lone woman in an autobody paint workshop, because she wanted to use that process in her work, particularly her painted car hoods. Likewise, Judy later sought a medium that compelled the viewer to explore the inside of an object, what lies beneath. She found glass to be the perfect material for that exploration.
Chicago studied glass art at the famed Pilchuck Glass School, started by glass artist Dale Chihuly. There is a solidity in this flaming fist, that coexists with fragility due to the nature of glass. As a further metaphor, the work exists to exemplify creation/destruction contained in the artistic process as well as the processes of life and of being a woman. Just as glass is formed by heating sand until it melts, women’s collective history with fire has only made them stronger–strong enough to re-harness its power for themselves.
Chicago has written over 14 books on art, arts curricula, and feminist art topics. She founded the Through the Flower Foundation, which ensures against the erasure of women artists in art history. She is undoubtedly one of the most important artists of the last century, and she is featured in the recent book Great Women Artists. Her works are included in top museum collections worldwide, and her Dinner Party has been deemed “the most important work in the history of art” by Artnet News. Chicago is the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the De Young Museum in summer, 2020.
-Tonya Turner Carroll