For the 2016 edition of Art Basel: Miami Beach, Survey, Garth Greenan Gallery presents a solo-exhibition of works by Howardena Pindell. The works included—three monumental paintings—provide an overview of the artist’s work from 1971–1973, an incredibly innovative and unique period for the artist.
Among Pindell’s first forays into abstraction, on unprimed canvas, these works have the appearance of vast fields from which light emanates. They also convey the impression of pigment having been beaten into the surface rather than simply applied with a brush. In this, they recall the effect of African cloth made from pounded fiber and natural dyes.
The relative darkness of her work at this time may be attributed to the fact that she painted mostly at night; her days were spent working in various curatorial departments at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Increasingly, she favored the handmade, process-oriented, even craft-intensive approach to art that has proved her natural bent.
Only one of the paintings – Untitled (1971) – has ever before been exhibited. The year that it was painted it appeared in Robert M. Doty’s landmark exhibition Contemporary Black Artists in America at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Untitled (1973) is the first painting onto which Pindell added her signature: hand-punched paper circles.
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 is now a full professor. Throughout her career, Pindell has exhibited extensively. Following our booth presentation, each of the works included will appear in major international group exhibitions—Untitled (1971) at the Brooklyn Museum’s We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 (Spring 2017); Untitled (1972) at the Tate’s Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (Summer 2017); and Untitled (1973) at the National Gallery of Art’s Outliers and American Vanguard Art (Fall 2017).
A full-career retrospective of Pindell’s work will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in Spring 2018.
Pindell’s work is in the permanent collections of major museums internationally, including: the Brooklyn Museum; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Fogg Museum, Harvard University; the High Museum of Art; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the National Gallery of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; the Smithsonian Museum of American Art; the Wadsworth Atheneum; the Walker Art Center; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent Howardena Pindell.