Judy Chicago: Los Angeles | Judy Chicago, Andrea Bowers and Connie Butler in Conversation at Deitch Gallery

by Liam Casey

In a quaint quarter of Hollywood, Jeffrey Deitch’s gallery is a quintessential Californian space; lofty beams, large windows, and expansive square footage. At the peak of the golden hour, the sleepy street starts buzzing with activity. Gallerists, curators, philanthropists, editors and patrons convene, all enthused to bear witness to a literal talk of the town. 

Everyone’s here for beloved and renowned artist, Judy Chicago, who’s eponymous show is slated to open Saturday, September 7th. The installation encompasses a comprehensive survey of works from the ‘60s and ‘70s, a time when emerging terms like “Feminist Art” were the scourge of machismo, monumentalist artmaking. The swaths of photographs, sculptures, paintings and drawings are testament to Chicago’s prolific career, spanning decades and influencing scores of artists, like protege Andrea Bowers, with whom Chicago shares the stage for an enriching conversation, moderated by Chief Curator of the Hammer Museum, Connie Butler.

The discussion is a partnership with Visionary Women, a nonprofit advocating for female empowerment through multiple initiatives, and raising over $1.2M, with over 90% of funds directed to the women-centric organizations it endorses. The talk is a kick-off to their fall season of salons. Events like these have yielded thought-provoking dialogue, like the role, or perhaps, problem, of the art market’s inequity to female artists, or the systematic erasure of women’s achievements in the arts of the latter twentieth century. 

“I really enjoyed talking with Andrea Bowers about some of the difficulties I faced early in my career in California,” Chicago remarks, “and that unfortunately, many women artists are still experiencing today. We ended the conversation on a hopeful note, however, committing to continue making work that can produce positive change.” Featured in Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” Chicago continues to celebrate new cornerstones, turning 80 this year, and premiering more exhibitions nationwide at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. (Judy Chicago—The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction), Salon 94 in Soho NYC (Judy Chicago: Picturing Extinction; Studies for The End), and an entire retrospective at the De Young in San Francisco for 2020.

Judy Chicago: Los Angeles opens on Saturday, September 7th, and runs until October 26th, 2019, at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, 925 N Orange Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90038.