Born in Philadelphia in 1943, Howardena Pindell studied painting at Boston University and Yale University. After graduating, she accepted a job in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at the Museum of Modern Art, where she remained for 12 years (1967–1979). In 1979, she began teaching at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, where she remains a full professor.Read More
Throughout her career, Pindell has exhibited extensively. Notable solo-exhibitions include: Spelman College (1971, Atlanta), A.I.R. Gallery (1973, 1983, New York), Just Above Midtown (1977, New York), Lerner-Heller Gallery (1980, 1981, New York), The Studio Museum in Harlem (1986, New York), the Wadsworth Atheneum (1989, Hartford), Cyrus Gallery (1989, New York), G.R. N’Namdi Gallery (1992, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, Chicago, Detroit, and New York), Garth Greenan Gallery, New York (2014, 2017), and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta (2015). Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, (2018); Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2018); Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, (1 February–19 May 2019).
Pindell’s work has been featured in many landmark museum exhibitions, such as: Contemporary Black Artists in America (1971, Whitney Museum of American Art), Rooms (1976, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center), Another Generation (1979, The Studio Museum in Harlem), Afro-American Abstraction (1980, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center), The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s (1990, New Museum of Contemporary Art), and Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African-American Women Artists (1996, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta).
Most recently, Pindell’s work has appeared in: Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (2017, Tate Modern, London; 2018, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; 2018–2019, Brooklyn Museum, New York; 2019, The Broad Museum, Los Angeles), We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 (2017, the Brooklyn Museum, New York), Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964–1980 (2006, The Studio Museum in Harlem), High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967–1975 (2006, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro), WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (2007, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), Target Practice: Painting Under Attack, 1949–1978 (2009, Seattle Art Museum), Black in the Abstract: Part I, Epistrophy (2013, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston), and Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age (2015–2016, Museum Brandhorst; 2016, Museum Moderner Kunst).
Pindell’s work is in the permanent collections of major museums internationally, including: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Brooklyn Museum; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.
Text courtesy Victoria Miro.
Howardena Pindell (b. 1943, Philadelphia) has had a long and pioneering career making art and art history. A painter and mixed-media and video artist with a unique, bifurcated practice, Pindell makes both sumptuous process-driven abstract works and pull-no-punches issue-based works that call out racism, sexism, and other injustices. She was the...
When, in the 1970s, Howardena Pindell was working as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York – as the first African-American woman to serve in the museum's curatorial department – she found she wasn't always invited to events attended by her colleagues. 'I was somewhat marginalised,' she tells me. But there was an upside: 'I could go...
At times it seems that everything ever written about the 1970s is concerned with demonstrating just how different that decade was from the one that preceded it. At the risk of prolonging this historical cliché, I'd like to note that a lot of 1960s art in the United States, from Color Field painting to Pop art to Minimalism, favored smooth, clean...
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