All bets are off when a subject finds the interviewer’s question “very interesting.” There’s a likelihood that the answer will go its own way. I find that to be the case in this exchange between Jori Finkel, a contributor to the NYTimes and author of “It Speaks to Me: Art That Inspires Artists,” and artist and author Judy Chicago.
Unless I’m missing the boat, Chicago doesn’t quite answer the question that was asked. I find the question quite interesting, having admired work of the Delaunays in times past.
Sonia Delaunay, who with her husband, Robert Delaunay, developed this colorful, symphonic sort of abstraction called Orphism, has an interesting history. It was in 1911 that her painting went from figurative to abstract. She always said the turning point was making a patchwork quilt for her infant son. And she went on to work as a designer in fashion, costumes, stage sets and books. Could design and craft be one root of abstract painting?
That’s very interesting. I remember many years ago there was an article in an art magazine about the artist Liza Lou, who does beaded work, and instead of placing her work in the context of the history of beading, like Native American beading or women’s crafts, they put her in the tradition of Andy Warhol. Because the way to validate an artist, particularly a woman artist, is to put them in the context of the important male art. What you’re talking about now opens up the possibility of starting to see women in our own tradition. I’ve looked at so much work by other women to validate my own sense of form and also color. When I look at Hilma af Klint’s paintings and see all those pastels, I’m like: Whoa, I love that kind of color.
(Jori Finkel, “Judy Chicago on Rescuing Women From Art History’s Sidelines,” NYTimes, 9-19-19, Updated 10-14-19)
(c) 2019 JMN