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Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist Paperback – February 1, 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When feminist artist Judy Chicago (born Judy Cohen) published her first autobiographical memoir, Through the Flower, which left off in the early 1970s, she believed that the aim of art was empowerment and social change. Writing this less fiery, more introspective sequel in semirural Albuquerque, where she lives with her husband and many cats, she despairs over whether there is any point in continuing to make art. Summing up her career, she evokes the collaborative energies that went into such projects as The Dinner Party, a multimedia, symbolic history of women, and Birth Project, an installation that portrays the childbirth experience as a heroic struggle. She and her husband, photographer Donald Woodman, rediscovered their Jewish roots in working on Holocaust Project, a touring exhibition that uses the Nazi genocide as a prism to probe the global structure of abusive power and powerlessness. Illustrations. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

One of the earliest organizers of the 1970s women's movement in art, Chicago has remained a high-profile, controversial multimedia feminist artist. These two works can be read as sequels/updates to Chicago's three previous books: her outspoken Through the Flower (LJ 3/15/75), The Dinner Party (LJ 6/1/79), and Embroidering Our Heritage (LJ 12/80). Chicago established her international reputation early on with the first book, an indiscreet, youthful autobiography that decried, sometimes in street language, her personal pain as a woman artist within a patriarchal society. In her updated Beyond the Flowers, as in the Dinner Party, expanded for a reopening debut in Los Angeles, she laments the vicissitudes of her personal life and career and the vast amount of money still needed to find a permanent home for her famous/infamous collaborative installation. "The Dinner Party" now appears in standard Western art survey texts. It records 1,038 mythical and historical women of Western civilization, especially honoring 39 of these with place settings on a triangular banquet table 48' per side. Controversy surrounded the imagery of the 39 plates, multicolor, explicit depictions of vaginas as harshly aggressive genitalia that are often criticized as inappropriate stand-ins for famous women. In The Dinner Party, a judiciously edited commemoration of a recent showing of the work, Chicago responds, "What is wrong with that?" Both books are essential for social, political, and feminist art collections.?Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Towson State Univ., Md.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140232974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140232974
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,739,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on December 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
It seems that while Women continue to produce some of the most important art work of our time, there are many men in the art world and in criticism who wish to pretend that the most courageous Women's voices are not heard. I salute Judy Chicago for combatting what these men have perpetrated upon us as artists and as Women. She is so courageous, so forthright, never one to shy away from speaking the truth at all times even as she questions 'truth'. Her experiences with her Black lover are also fascinating, and it seems that now that Women and African Americans are joining to fight patriarchal assumptions/proscriptions, we are better able to appreciate the efforts of Judy Chicago to proclaim the relations of artistic struggle and the struggle of civil rights. A WONDERFUL artist.
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By A Customer on December 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
Is there a more gifted artist in the world than Judy Chicago? While men continue to pretend that women artists do not even exist, Chicago has fought all the male paradigms and WON! Her gut-wrenchingly honest writing will inspire a lot of fear among males who are trying to keep women from showing their work, but every once in a while I feel that women have nothing to worry about as far as that goes: because artists like Judy Chicago continue to astonish all with her brilliance!
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By A Customer on April 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
A beautiful and powerful book by a great Woman artist, an artist who has never allowed the white male patriarchal art world to dismiss her work (although they are still trying). I found her experience with her black lover and her rejection of white male attitudes touching and stirring. A fine book that questions the male attempt to dismiss women from art.
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By A Customer on April 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Courageous, breath-taking insight into the shabby workings of the white male mind. This is a truly great book. Chicago's life is an inspiration to all of us. I'm giving this book to both of my daughters.
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