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Becoming Judy Chicago: A Biography of the Artist Hardcover – Feb 27 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (Feb. 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400054125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400054121
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,117,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With Judy Chicago, Levin (Edward Hopper) takes on a subject who has spent most of her career fighting for her place in a male-dominated and masculinized art world. As the title suggests, the book shows how the daughter of a radical Jewish Communist became the power behind The Dinner Party (1979), a work that forces women's history forward on women's terms, expressed through craft and female imagery. Often described as outspoken, confrontational, strong willed and difficult by even her closest colleagues and friends, Chicago carved a path for other women artists. She demanded that her students—all female—live and create a radically new and feminist movement in the arts. Levin captures Chicago's struggle with her emerging feminism in the context of her marriages, her art and her role as teacher and collaborator. Levin handles the complexity of Chicago's relationships with both men and women deftly, in a manner that exemplifies the issues many women have gone through as they attempted to stake their claim in a man's world. Although not an authorized biography, this was written with Chicago's aid. Hagiographic at times and sometimes burdened by its living and larger-than-life subject, the book is an enlightening look at this controversial artist and at feminist art in general. 16 pages of color photos, 15 b&w photos. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Judith Cohen, born in Chicago in 1939 to radical activists, legally changed her name to Judy Chicago in 1970 to liberate herself from the conventions of "male dominance" and to celebrate her female identity. This metamorphosis initiated her controversial and profoundly influential feminist art. Levin, author of a groundbreaking Edward Hopper biography, tells Chicago's complex, galvanizing story in conscientious detail without losing narrative drive, providing fresh and invaluable insights into the intense emotional, aesthetic, and political brouhaha provoked by Chicago's female genitalia imagery, grand collaborative projects elevating such traditional women's crafts as china painting and embroidery to fine-art status, and unabashed conviction that art has a moral imperative. Ambitious, outspoken, multitalented, and relentlessly hardworking, Chicago--author of two inspiring memoirs and the veteran of numerous painful relationships complicated by her artistic commitment and reformer's zeal--has had an enormous impact on art and society. Chicago's most infamous work, The Dinner Party,inally has a permanent home at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Levin's passionately researched, thoroughly analyzed, and deeply moving portrait-in-full presents Chicago as a courageous, tough, and innovative artist who, as catalyst and lightning rod, has illuminated the human condition. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99d7d96c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a19c798) out of 5 stars Excellent! June 17 2012
By Sharp Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After starting off a little too slow, this biography went on to be absolutely absorbing. I felt as if I could not for one minute put the book down. Very well written and incredibly insightful. You got the sense that Levin respects Chicago, but that does not mean she was fawning. In addition, Levin does a great job in navigating the many egos of artists still alive. My one gripe: Chapters should have chapter title headings on the individual pages instead of just repeating the book title over and over again all throughout the book. That got a little tiring after a while and if you lost your place while reading you were really in trouble. All in all though, I highly recommend this book, as well as Levin's biography on Lee Krasner. Let's hope she does more biographies on women artists, including women artists of color.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99c4566c) out of 5 stars It's a survey all American artist reference collections must have. June 17 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Any who would understand the life and influences of artist Judy Chicago must have BECOMING JUDY CHICAGO: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE ARTIST. Where other art titles focus on a pictorial representation of her achievements, BECOMING JUDY CHICAGO, in contrast, provides an in-depth study of her life and is the only biography to offer such depth and details, considering not only Chicago's influences and contributions, but how her works helped transform society. It's a survey all American artist reference collections must have.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch