A Butterfly for Pomona, from the portfolio On Fire”

Media - 2018.11.11 - SAAM-2018.11.11_1 - 135669
Copied Judy Chicago, A Butterfly for Pomona, from the portfolio "On Fire", 2012, printed 2018, inkjet print on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum Purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2018.11.11

Artwork Details

Title
A Butterfly for Pomona, from the portfolio On Fire”
Artist
Date
2012, printed 2018
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
image: 13 14 in. × 20 in. (33.7 × 50.8 cm) sheet: 24 × 24 in. (61 × 61 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums Description
inkjet print on paper
Classifications
Object Number
2018.11.11

Artwork Description

Chicago, born Judy Cohen, was a key figure in California minimalism who came to prominence making brightly colored abstract geometric paintings and sculptures in the 1960s. By the end of the decade, her feminist politics led to a new identity (she began using the city of her birth as her last name) and new ways of creating and teaching art. In 1968, Chicago began working with fireworks and flares in site-specific interventions titled Atmospheres that momentarily "feminized" found environments. Collaborative performances followed, like that captured in Smoke Bodies, featuring painted female bodies and matching colored smoke plumes set against the stark desert landscape. The performers were students in the groundbreaking Feminist Art Program founded by Chicago in 1970, originally at California State College, Fresno, after she realized existing college art curricula were entirely shaped by male artists. In 1974, Chicago set off fireworks around the Oakland Art Museum
grounds to ignite the outline of a massive butterfly, a celebration of the feminine. She then turned her attention to her most iconic project, The Dinner Party (1974--79), which used "women's arts" such as tapestry and other textile techniques and china painting to celebrate women's histories. She did not return to fireworks until 2012, when she recreated her pyrotechnic butterfly at Pomona College in Claremont, California.