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Howardena Pindell Gets the Long-Awaited Major Survey at MCA Chicago

  • Howardena Pindell - Untitled #20 (Dutch Wives Circled and Squared) (detail), 1978
  • Video Drawings Swimming, 1975
  • Video Drawings Hockey, 1975
  • Free, White and 21, 1980
February 24, 2018
Andreja Velimirović is a passionate content writer with a knack for art and old movies. Majoring in art history, he is an expert on avant-garde modern movements and medieval church fresco decorations. Feel free to contact him via his Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreja-velimirovi%C4%87-74068a68/

At the The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, we’re eagerly waiting for the opening of the first major survey of the work by the groundbreaking, multidisciplinary artist Howardena Pindell. The show will focus on constant themes and visual experiments with textures, colors and structures that marked her career.

The Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen exhibition spans the New York–based artist’s five-decades-long career, featuring a rich selection of early figurative paintings, mature pure abstraction and conceptual works, and her personal and political art that initially emerged during the aftermath of a life-threatening car accident that took place in 1979.

Separate but Equal Genocide AIDS, 1991–92
Howardena Pindell – Separate but Equal Genocide: AIDS, 1991–92. Mixed media on canvas, 75 ½ x 91 in. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Five Decades of Excellence

Originally trained as a painter, Howardena Pindell spent the last fifty years challenging the staid traditions of the art world, becoming a key female art figure as a result.

A master of combining various painting techniques, Pindell is accustomed to using strange artistic materials such as glitter, talcum powder and perfumes, unconventional practices that helped her stretch the boundaries of the rigid tradition that blindly relied on rectangular, canvas painting.

Already well-regarded for her works of sumptuous and ethereal quality, Howardena Pindell’s life and career was radically altered after a 1979 accident left her with short-term amnesia. Yet, the artist was able to survive and prevail – she explored a wide range of subject matter since then, expanding her interest in some new directions, primarily of a social and political sort.

Furthermore, Howardena continued to deal with broader cultural concerns and critique sexism, racism, and discrimination at large, creating some of the most important bodies of work of the 20th century.

Untitled #4D, 2009
Howardena Pindell – Untitled #4D, 2009. Mixed media on paper collage, 7 × 10 in. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen

Aside from offering a rich presentation of the artist’s complete body of work, the upcoming Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen exhibition will also highlight Pindell’s work with photography, film and performance, secondary mediums she used to explore her place in the world.

These include chance-based photographs of drawings juxtaposed over a television screen, the 1980 work titled Free, White and 21 and a performance for film based on her personal experiences of racism.

The showcase will also include the artist’s newest artworks made during the last two years, all of which draw on the beauty of her inventive approach to abstraction.

Untitled #58, 1974
Howardena Pindell – Untitled #58, 1974. Mixed media on board, 5 × 8 in. Collection of James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, New York. Photo courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Howardena Pindell Art Exhibition at MCA Chicago

Following a recent increase in female artist exhibitions that could have bene noted during the final quarter of the last year, it’s really nice to see that Howardena Pindell is also getting her well-deserved dos.

Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen will be open to the public between the 24th of February and the 20th of May 2018 at the Griffin Galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Illinois, US.

Featured image: Howardena Pindell – Untitled #20 (Dutch Wives Circled and Squared) (detail), 1978. Mixed media on canvas, 86 × 110 in. (218.4 × 279.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Albert A. Robin by exchange, 2014.15. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York; Video Drawings: Swimming, 1975. Chromogenic development print, framed: 13 15/16 × 16 1/16 in. (35.4 × 40.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Anixter Art Acquisition Fund, 2016.6. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York; Video Drawings: Hockey, 1975. Chromogenic development print; framed: 13 15/16 × 16 1/16 in. (35.4 × 40.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Anixter Art Acquisition Fund, 2016.7. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York; Free, White and 21, 1980. Videotape (color, sound). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Garth Greenan and Bryan Davidson Blue, 2014.22. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. All images courtesy of MCA Chicago.