Judy Chicago at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
How often is it that we absorb an exhibition, relishing in its beauty, while understanding its ideological undertones? Do we ever engage in genuine critical analysis of a piece, seeing beyond the obvious images displayed to us? Looking beyond can often become the precursor for controversy, as observers delve deeper into the issues of our time.
IDEOLOGY IN ART
When viewing works of art, the silent narration is critical to recognizing a work’s implicit message. A work’s politicization, particularly during a moment of historical significance, is perhaps necessary to its enduring sense of timelessness and universality.
When we are quick to castigate works as rife with ideology and ridden with political commentary, we fail to form astute perceptions and analysis. We instead rely on narrow views that shelter us from unavoidable truths.
JUDY CHICAGO’S “THE DINNER PARTY”
While museums often present sacralized histories of cultural and artistic triumphs, they are conceived to frustrate dialectical engagement with history. Opponents fail to acknowledge that the “politics” imbued throughout art are not novel gestures or grandiose suggestion. They are symptomatic of the substance typically found in such a space. If art does not compel or raise sociopolitical issues of our day, what is its purpose?
“The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago is now on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Considered one of the most iconic pieces of feminist art, the monumental work is comprised of a triangular table divided by three wings, each 48 feet feet long, and is representative of 1,038 women in history. Symbolizing equality — and formed in the shape of the female reproductive organ — place settings honor the voices of women both well-known and unheard. Art is often the most powerful form of observation, initiating true observation and cognizance regarding our world’s most compelling needs.
The Judy Chicago page provides visitors with Chicago’s bio, over 70 of her works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Chicago exhibition listings. The page also includes related artists and categories, allowing viewers to discover art beyond the Chicago page.