Judy Chicago

Gunsmoke, 1971
Offset lithograph on paper

Paper Dimensions:
17 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches
(44.5 x 54.6 cm)
Image Dimensions:
16 x 20 inches
(40.6 x 50.8 cm)

Edition of 250

Signed “Judy Chicago 1971” bottom right

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In Chicago’s Gunsmoke, a male hand devoid of a body or identity shoves a gun down a woman’s throat. It is in fact a self-portrait. It is difficult to look at, but it nevertheless evokes the very real violence and subjugation faced by women artists in the male dominated Southern California art world. Chicago experienced not only limited opportunities to show her work, but also instances of sexual violence (such as the male pyrotechnics professionals who sexually assaulted and harassed her). It is essential therefore to consider how and why Gunsmoke resonates differently than the characteristically masculine, tongue-in-cheek performance Shoot by Chris Burden that same year, also in Southern California. The two dangers are not equal.

Printed in Los Angeles, CA

Collection: Tate Americas Foundation