Judy Chicago | Trinity
Judy Chicago is recognized worldwide as a pioneering feminist artist, author, and educator. During the first decade of her artistic production (1964-1973), she created a significant body of Minimalist art that showcased her exploration of gender, sexuality, and the body through a reduced formal vocabulary of geometric shapes and color.
After earning her Master of Fine Arts, Chicago enrolled in an auto body school where she became an expert in industrial spray paint application, as the only woman in a class of 250 men. It was during this time between 1965 and 1967 that Chicago created a series of unique and editioned gameboard sculptures. Through these small-scale sculptures, Chicago explored the transformative properties of surface, finish, and color.
Created in 1965 and repainted by the artist in 2002, Trinity is one of the earliest, unique examples of monumental sculpture from her Minimalist period. It is especially important because it is the only existing primary example of early painted, canvas-covered wooden sculptures she produced from this time in her early career. The work consists of three upside-down V-shaped forms, in red, orange, and yellow, infusing warmth into a Minimalist language that can often feel cold and impersonal. Jewish Museum curator Kynaston McShine included this work in his groundbreaking 1966 show Primary Structures where she was one of only three featured women, along with Anne Truitt and Tina Matkovic Spiro. The exhibition established a roster of the day’s most important Minimalist sculptors. Alongside works by Donald Judd, John McCracken and Carl Andre, Chicago’s sculpture placed her at the forefront of a burgeoning movement.