By the late ’60s, Judy Chicago had just turned 30 and was already a fearless and unapologetic artist teaching at California State University at Fresno. There she created a pioneering, yearlong women’s art program. In 1971 she took a job teaching art at the California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts. Her groundbreaking curriculum went with her.
A year later, Womanhouse, an innovative and radical illustration of female expression, was up and running. The exhibit was created by Ms. Chicago and another artist and CalArts educator, Miriam Schapiro, who died in 2015.
A new installment, this one called Women House, is arriving this spring, highlighting another generation of contemporary women artists who reflect, dissect and address the same issues as its predecessors, this time in a gallery setting, using photography, sculpture and video.
Through May 28, Women House is on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington. Last fall, the show spent three months at Monnaie de Paris, a partner museum. Ms. Chicago and Ms. Schapiro are the only artists to be represented in the original Womanhouse and the current house.
Other global artists featured include Cindy Sherman, Mona Hatoum, Laurie Simmons, Rachel Whiteread and Francesca Woodman, and the exhibit is structured around eight themes. Among them are: Desperate Housewives, showcasing the disillusionment of marriage; Home Is Where It Hurts, on the idea of being caged and trapped; A Room of One’s Own, illuminating the home as a place of creativity and generation of ideas; Doll’s House, looking at the trope of child’s play; and Mobile Homes, highlighting mobility and impermanence.
“Women’s place is still a hot topic, and the domestic realm remains a gendered space still associated with women and femininity,” said Kathryn Wat, chief curator at the museum. “This show offers new viewpoints on how different, diverse and dynamic the idea of home can be.”