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The Flowering: The Autobiography of Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago, Gloria Steinem


In this provocative and resonant autobiography, world-renowned artist and feminist icon Judy Chicago reflects on her extraordinary life and career


Judy Chicago is America’s most dynamic living artist. Her works comprise a dizzying array of media from performance and installation, including the glittering table laid for thirty-nine iconic women in The Dinner Party (permanently housed at the Brooklyn Museum), to textile arts in the groundbreaking Birth Project, painting and stained-glass work in the meticulously researched Holocaust Project, sculpture in the contemplative The End, and her latest genre-defying pyrotechnic smoke sculptures captured on an app or livestreamed across the globe.

Chicago is also an author, teacher, feminist and activist, and far from dividing the focus of her work these identities are integral to her work as an artist, driving her efforts to achieve what has been a lifelong aim: a more just and equitable world for all beings. Written on the eve of her first-ever career retrospective at the age of eighty-two, after decades on the margins of the art world, which devalued her work for its feminist content, The Flowering is an answer to and reflection upon her previous autobiographical writings, as well as a critically necessary update to her story of resilience. It will be a call to action for those who have supported her from the beginning and for a new generation.

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'Judy Chicago's 'The Flowering' is the update to her autobiographical writings we urgently need. It recasts Judy's pioneering sensibility for the important debates of our times, ensuring her pivotal place in the discourse of feminism and art'
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries

'This inspiring read tells the story of one of our most influential contemporary artists: a woman who was able to break the barrier of a male-dominated, chauvinistic system by revealing to the world what feminine creativity can produce. The imperative now lies in transforming this message into a reality for tomorrow'
Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Women’s Collections, Dior

'Now, we need Judy Chicago more than ever'
Gloria Steinem

'Combining engrossing, urgent storytelling with illustrations, personal images and a foreword by Gloria Steinem, Chicago relays the story of an artist determined to ensure that women’s cultural achievements are permanently valued'

'The art icon’s frank autobiography unpicks a long career dedicated to changing the world for the better'

'A full and frank life story'
Harper’s Bazaar

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 23.5 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 416 pp

Illustrations: 90

Publication date: 20 July 2021

ISBN: 9780500094389

Contents List

Preface by Gloria Steinem
1. Introduction
2. Coming of Age
3. Making a Professional Life
4. Becoming Judy Chicago
5. Making Feminist Art
6. Learning from the Past
7. Back to L.A., and Womanhouse
8. Dreaming Up the Dinner Party
9. Controversy? What Controversy?
10. Giving Birth to the Birth Project
11. Is There an Alternative to the Art World?
12. Expanding My Gaze
13. If You Don’t Have, You Can’t Lose
14. Why the Holocaust?
15. The Dinner Party Goes to Congress
16. Lost in Albuquerque! Found in Belen?

About the Author

Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist and educator whose career spans almost six
decades. Her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; LACMA: the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Hammer Museum; the Getty Trust; and SFMOMA. Gloria Steinem is an American feminist and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.