The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents Judy Chicago—The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction, on view Sept. 19, 2019–Jan. 20, 2020. Visually striking and emotionally charged, the newest body of work by feminist icon Judy Chicago continues her commitment to challenging the status quo and advocating for social change. Through a series comprising 30 paintings on black glass, seven painted porcelain works and two large-scale bronze reliefs, the artist reflects on her own mortality and appeals for compassion on behalf of endangered animals and ecosystems. Viscerally bold, the graphic style of these works communicates the intensity of Chicago’s personal contemplation of her own death as well as the death of entire species.
While Chicago is best known for The Dinner Party (1974), the renowned iconic mixed-media installation that celebrates the legacies of women throughout history, this new exhibition also connects with her many other prescient bodies of work—on sex, birth, death, violence and the natural world. Chicago has built her career on pushing boundaries, and The End is no less audacious than her earlier projects.
“In many ways, this series is the culmination of 50 years of studio practice, a practice that has taken me on a journey of discovery through many different topics expressed through a wide range of techniques,” said Chicago. “In a world in which women’s cultural production continues to be undervalued, discounted or marginalized, I am pleased to premier this work for the first time at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the only museum in the world dedicated to ensuring that women’s art is preserved. ”
“Judy Chicago is a formative figure in contemporary art. She has spent her career exploring social issues, expressing a unique vision that incorporates personal experience with a concern for the wider world,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “Brave, earnest and vulnerable, Chicago often has provided a voice for those she feels have none. We are excited to present this new body of work that explores the next frontier for her, for us and for others on this planet—mortality.”