Friday, September 4, 2009

Last Chance: Judy Chicago @ Textile Museum

You know what's kind of a bad thing about being the kind of writer who does preview Q&As with artists?

It's that it can take you a long time to actually see the show once it's up, sometimes.

Such is the case with me and the Judy Chicago show, When Women Rule the World, at the Textile Museum of Canada. It closes this weekend, September 7, and I finally went to see it today.

Bottom line: I'm sorry I'd waited so long to see it. Though I'm familiar with Chicago's work and legacy, what makes the show shine is

1) the unexpected, quite large scale of these works, something that does not come across in reproduction and

2) Allyson Mitchell's very capable curation and helpful texts.

While my NOW colleague Fran Schechter was right to point out in her review is astute in noting Chicago's lack of representational skill, and while Chicago's work can seem cliched to some, I really recommend the show as worth seeing. The videos showing the collaborative process between the (often controversial) Chicago and the needleworkers who complete the pieces are also really interesting.

Also, the earliest work in the show, Red Flag (1971) still maintains its punch, underlining the ways that many women's experiences (in this case, menstruation) remain largely unaddressed in the art canon.

Image from Art Knowledge News

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