Judy Chicago – Through the Flower 2 Drawing
Medium: graphite on board
“Through the Flower” is perhaps the most well known image of Judy Chicago’s six decade career as an artist. It is autobiographically important to her not only as an image, but as a philosophy of life. This drawing of the “center” of the Through the Flower image represents that central space that can be reached when the petals open and a woman can pass through the barriers into a place of infinite possibility.
Chicago writes in her autobiography “Through The Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist” “I felt myself …moving through the limits of the female role. I used the flower as a symbol of feminity…the petals of the flower are parting, and one can see an inviting but undefined space, the space beyond the confines of our own femininity…my longing for transcendence…my first steps in being able to make clear, abstract images of my feelings as a woman.”
By using the central female image as a hallmark of her iconography, Chicago embraces the beauty and truth of that image for all women. Fittingly, Judy Chicago named the nonprofit she formed “to educate a broad public about the importance of art and its power in countering the erasure of women’s achievements” after this image and its underlying concept: Through the Flower.
-Tonya Turner Carroll