Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974–1980


from the website:
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce, Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974–1980, an exhibition of paintings, collages, and drawings at 529 West 20th Street. Opening on Thursday, April 10, 2014, the exhibition is the first presentation of Pindell’s work in a New York gallery in nearly a decade. Eight of the artist’s large-scale, abstract paintings will be on view, most of which have never before been exhibited. A fully illustrated catalogue—Pindell’s first since 1992—will accompany the exhibition, with an essay by Barry Schwabsky.

The exhibition and its accompanying publication provide an overview of Pindell’s work from 1974 to 1980, an incredibly innovative and unique period for the artist. During this time, Pindell began a metaphorical process of destruction/reconstruction in her work, often cutting the canvas in strips and sewing them back together, then building up the surface in elaborate stages: painting or drawing onto a sheet of paper, punching out dots from it, dropping the dots onto her canvas, finally squeegeeing paint through the “stencil” left in the paper from which she had punched the dots. By the late 1970s, sequins, glitter, powder, string, hair, and even perfume had become a part of her labor-intensive, process-oriented approach to painting. Invariably, her constructed canvases are installed unstretched, held to the wall merely by the strength of a few finishing nails.

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. 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), and G.R. N’Namdi Gallery (1992, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, Chicago, Detroit, and New York).

Her work has also 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 appeared in: 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), and Black in the Abstract: Part I, Epistrophy (2013, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston).

Pindell’s work is in the permanent collections of major museums internationally, including: the Fogg Museum, Harvard University; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; the Wadsworth Atheneum; the Walker Art Center; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent Howardena Pindell.

Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974–1980 will be on view at Garth Greenan Gallery, 529 West 20th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through Saturday, May 17, 2014. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email

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