Judy Chicago

Jan Baum Gallery

This show was a miniretrospective for Judy Chicago; it contained recent paintings and drawings, as well as works in some of the traditionally undervalued mediums the artist has championed by her use of them (including porcelain-plate painting, tapestry weaving, embroidery, and cloisonné). The show included pieces from all of Chicago’s major projects, notably such ambitious, collectively produced work as “The Dinner Party,” 1977–78, and “The Birth Project,” 1984–85. The show offered an accurate and balanced representation of her concerns over the last decade, as well as an exposition of one of the problems with her work: how many of her artistic choices contradict the work’s underlying ideology.

The nonsculptural pieces tended to be the weakest. Specifically, selections from “Powerplay,” 1982–87, grand-scale paintings and drawings of parts of men’s bodies, really missed their intended mark.

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