Judy Chicago was born Judith Cohen on July 20, 1939 in Chicago, IL. Chicago knew she wanted to be an artist from a very early age and moved to Los Angeles, California to study Art at UCLA in 1957, which is where she got the nickname Judy Chicago. She also attained her masters in painting and sculpture at UCLA. She started out her art career with the Minimalism movement. This movement included various forms of art, like visual art and music, which is where artists would strip their works down to the most basic features. She explored color by reducing geometric shapes, using sculptures, paintings, and drawings. Chicago eventually left this type of art to get involved in what she believed to have more significance.
In the seventies Chicago got involved working with Feminist Art, exploring and demonstrating woman’s rights to freedom of expression. She helped found the Feminist Art program at the California Institute of the Arts, which is where the first installation artwork that demonstrated the female point of view in art overtly. Judy Chicago’s work with Feminist Art helped many other artist and woman into the Feminist Art movement in the 70’s. Many of Chicago’s artworks lead powerful statements about women’s rights. Along with being a successful artist and teacher, Chicago also is the author of several very popular books. Chicago has broken some barriers of how woman are perceived in the art world and lead to social change.
One piece of art Chicago is probably best known for is The Dinner Party. She created this piece, with the help of many volunteers, because she felt that women in history were not recognized and honored the way men were. It is suggested that this piece may have been created as a reinterpretation of The Last Supper, where women would be recognized. It is a triangular table with 39 place settings; every setting represents a different important woman in history. There are also another 999 names on the floor of other women who have made significant contributions throughout history.