Explain the development and impact of Early Feminist art of the 1970s. Refer to at least 1 example to illustrate your points.art

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although it debuted in 1979, Judy Chicago's art sample The Dinner Party started to be developed and refined in 1973 and 1974.  Chicago's art piece is an invaluable contribution to the discussion of early feminist art in the 1970s.  It represents feminism of the time period in a variety of ways.  The first is that it seeks to redefine women's view of history.  Chicago said that her intent in the art sample was to develop a narrative that spoke the voices of women who have been silenced by traditional historical discourse.  This represents feminism in a couple of ways.  The first is that it stresses the idea that history needs to be re-conceptualized into a genre whereby one can fully appreciate the role of women.  At the same time, the design and structure of the art sample to represent both women and the physicality of woman is something representative of 1970s feminism.  Seeking to strike a pose in which women did not have to feel that their own physical and sexual identities were to be dictated by men, there is an overt statement in which the physical concept of woman is present, challenging how patriarchy defined sexuality:

The place settings present the sexual images of women's bodies, primarily images of the vagina, which were seen as vulgar by conservative reviewers.

In this, Chicago's work challenges viewers to reconfigure their physical and intellectual conceptions of women, representative of the movement in the early 1970s.