The Nevada Museum of Art celebrates Judy Chicago

With an illustrious career that now spans six decades, Judy Chicago is a multifaceted feminist artist, activist, intellectual, author, and educator. 

Beginning in 1968, artist Judy Chicago initiated a series of ephemeral Atmospheres performances in the deserts of the American West, using coloured smoke and fireworks to “soften that macho Land Art scene.” Long overlooked by art historians and scholars, Chicago’s Atmospheres series is now considered as one of the most significant responses to the monumental landscape interventions of artists such as Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson.

In 2018, the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment acquired Judy Chicago’s Fireworks archive. The Museum is now re-purposing a selection of these acquisitions in the exhibition Judy Chicago: Dry Ice, Smoke, and Fireworks Archive, on view from 28 August 2021 through 27 March 2022.

Featuring more than 175 vintage photographs of Chicago’s performances and events, from Dry Ice Environment (Los Angeles, 1967) and Smoke Gun Atmosphere (Pasadena, 1968) to Be No More (SFMOMA, 2017), A Purple Poem for Miami (ICA Miami, 2019), and A Birthday Bouquet for Belen—On Fire at 80 (Belen, NM, 2019), the exhibition also includes preparatory drawings and plans, models, video compilations, press documentation, and fireworks test information.

The exhibition is one of five at the Museum during its 2021 Art + Environment Season, Land Art: Past, Present, Futures, which also encompasses virtual discussions and talks by 23 distinguished speakers.