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Brooklyn Museum Presents JUDY CHICAGO: ON FIRE Today

The Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design Present "Judy Chicago: On Fire," a Special Two-Night Event Exploring the Artist's Fireworks Judy Chicago, A Butterfly for Brooklyn, 2014 Judy Chicago & Pyro Spectaculars Photo (c) Donald Woodman today, April 9 and Friday, April 10, The Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will collaborate to showcase the pyrotechnic performance pieces of world-renowned artist Judy Chicago.

These two tandem events will premiere the documentary film about Chicago's most recent piece "A Butterfly for Brooklyn" and explore her rich history in pyrotechnics which began in 1968. In 2012, as part of the Getty Initiative, "Pacific Standard Time", she returned to this medium, and since that time has executed a number of new works culminating in her East coast fireworks debut "A Butterfly for Brooklyn," which was one of the many exhibitions and events celebrating the artist's 75th birthday.

On April 9th, The Brooklyn Museum will premiere "A Butterfly for Brooklyn," a 20-minute documentary by Oscar-winning film editor Kate Amend that recounts the triumphs and challenges in creating this monumental fireworks piece in Prospect Park which took place on April 26, 2014 and was applauded by more than 12,000 viewers. Immediately following the film, Glenn Adamson, director of MAD, will moderate a discussion with Chicago, Amend, photographer Donald Woodman (Chicago's husband who collaborated with her on this project), and fireworks producer Chris Souza of Pyrotechnic Spectaculars. This event will begin at 7 pm and is free with admission to the museum. Visit www.brooklnymuseum.org for more information.

On April 10th, the Museum of Arts and Design will host the second event which will examine the history of Chicago's extensive body of pyrotechnic performances. During this special evening conversation for MAD members, Chicago will sit down with Elissa Auther, MAD's Windgate Research Curator, to discuss Chicago's unique approach to creating pyrotechnic visual effects in the creation of monumental, site-specific installations, from early works such as Chicago's "Atmosphere" series (1968-1974), "Smoke Bodies" (1970-72) and "A Butterfly for Oakland" (1974) to her later, much-larger scale expositions, "A Butterfly for Pomona" (2012) and "A Butterfly for Brooklyn" (2014). This discussion will begin at 7 PM and is reserved to MAD Members.

Chicago has a rich history with both art institutions; "The Dinner Party," which was shown at the Brooklyn Museum in 1980 as part of its world-wide tour, is now on permanent exhibition at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. The Museum of Arts and Design has curated many exhibitions of Chicago's work and her tapestries, woven by long-time collaborator Audrey Cowan, are in its permanent collection thanks to a gift from Audrey and Bob Cowan.

Chicago first turned to pyrotechnics in the late 1960s in an effort to feminize the atmosphere at a time when the southern California art scene was almost entirely male dominated. In response, she set out to create a female-centered imagery. After creating more than thirty fireworks displays, she had to abandon these types of projects because of lack of funding. After 40 years, she was able to pick up where she left off, utilizing one of her most well-known artistic motifs: the Butterfly. "'A Butterfly for Brooklyn' is the most complex fireworks project that I've ever done and was created at a level that I could only dream of in 1974," says Chicago. During this two-night series of film and discussions, Chicago's pyrotechnics will finally get their place at the table alongside her more widely celebrated works.

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