Howardena Pindell

Garth Greenan Gallery, New York (JAM2)

Howardena Pindell (b. 1943; lives and works in New York City).

Pindell’s work often employs lengthy, metaphorical processes of destruction/reconstruction. Among her first forays into abstraction, on unprimed canvas, she sprayed acrylic paint through hand-made stencils, dotted with hole punches. Later, she would cut canvases in various shapes and sew them back together, building up surfaces in elaborate stages with the use of hole punches, paint, and other non-traditional materials. In recent, more political work, Pindell uses similar techniques in order to address social issues, such as homelessness, HIV/ AIDS, war, racism, sexism, and xenophobia. The artist’s fascination with gridded, serialized imagery, along with texture, appears throughout her oeuvre.

In Video Drawings from the mid-1970s, Pindell captures televised sports and news broadcasts beneath transparencies marked with her signature abstract systems of lines, numbers, arrows, and dots. The marks do not signify the measurement of space; however, their placement is enhanced relative to the movement of the image on the television screen. The Video Drawings series represent the artist’s earliest experimentations with photography, as well as her first attempts at combining both figurative and abstract imagery.

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. In 1979, she began teaching at the State University of New York, Stony Brook where she is now a full professor. A full career retrospective of Pindell’s work recently took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018) traveling to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2018), and Rose Art Museum (2019), accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.