Howardena Pindell

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Howardena Pindell
Howardena Pindell at Rose Art Museum.jpg
Pindell in 2019.
Born (1943-04-14) April 14, 1943 (age 79)
Alma materBoston University,
Yale School of Art and Architecture
Occupation(s)artist, curator, and educator
Known forPainting, collage, video art, mixed media
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship (1987)

Howardena Pindell (born April 14, 1943) is an American artist, curator, and educator.[1] She is known as a painter and mixed media artist,[2] her work explores texture, color, structures, and the process of making art; it is often political, addressing the intersecting issues of racism, feminism, violence, slavery, and exploitation. She is known for the wide variety of techniques and materials used in her artwork; she has created abstract paintings, collages, "video drawings," and "process art."[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Howardena Pindell was born on April 14, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was raised in the neighborhood of Germantown.[4][2] Her parents were Mildred (née Lewis) and Howard Douglas Pindell, she was an only child.[5][6] She graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls. From a young age, she demonstrated promise in figurative art classes at the Philadelphia College of Art, the Fleisher Art Memorial, and the Tyler School of Art.[7]

She received her BFA degree in 1965 from Boston University, and her MFA degree in 1967 from Yale University.[5][8][9] Pindell had studied color theory under Sewell Sillman.[10]


In 1967, Pindell began working in the Arts Education Department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, later moving on to a curatorial position in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.[11][12] She would continue to work at MoMA for the next 12 years (until 1979) in a variety of capacities, including exhibit assistant, curatorial assistant, and associate curator.[7][13]

In 1972, Pindell co-founded the A.I.R. Gallery, which was the first artist-directed gallery for women artists in the United States.[14] There were twenty artist cofounders, including Nancy Spero, Agnes Denes, Barbara Zucker, Dotty Attie, Judith Bernstein, Harmony Hammond, Maude Boltz, Louise Kramer, and others.[15] At the first meeting, held on March 17, 1972, Pindell suggested naming the gallery the "Eyre Gallery" after the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.[15] The artists decided to name the gallery "A.I.R. Gallery" instead, which stands for "Artists in Residence."[15] The gallery allowed women artists to curate their own exhibitions, allowing them the freedom to take risks with their work in ways that commercial galleries would not.[15]

In the mid-1970s, she began traveling abroad as a guest speaker and lecturer. Her seminars included "Current American and Black American Art: A Historical Survey" at the Madras College of Arts and Crafts in India, 1975, and "Black Artists, U.S.A." at the Academy of Art in Oslo, Norway, 1976.[16]

By 1977, she was associate curator of MoMA's department of Prints and Illustrated Books.[13][17] She continued to spend her nights creating her own pieces, drawing inspiration from many of the exhibits hosted by MoMA, especially the museum's collection of Akan batakari tunics in the exhibit African Textiles and Decorative Arts.[7] While working at MoMA, Pindell created a statistical report spanning 7 years where she surveyed art institutions and galleries in New York state that were featuring representation by Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American artists and designers.[1] Her statistical findings were published in March 1989 issue of ARTnews, and found that 54 out of 64 of the surveyed art institutions and galleries (in New York state) represented 90% or greater white artists.[1]

Currently, Pindell is a professor of art at Stony Brook University, where she has taught since 1979.[13] She was a visiting professor in the art department at Yale University from 1995–1999.[13]

She was interviewed for the film !Women Art Revolution (2010).[18]

Artistic style[edit]

Pindell's 1989 painting Queens, Festival, in the lobby of the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building, Queens, New York. The work is acrylic, paper, and gouache on canvas.

Following her graduation from the MFA program specializing in painting at Yale University in 1967, Pindell moved to New York City.[5] It was in New York City where she began to work with abstraction and collaging, finding inspiration in the work of fellow grad school student Nancy Silvia Murata.[7] By the 1970s, she began developing a unique style, rooted in the use of dots and reminiscent of minimalism and pointillism.[19] From working with dots, Pindell began making use of the scrap circles of oaktag paper that resulted from the production of her pointillist works. David Bourdon writes, "By 1974, Pindell developed a more three-dimensional and more personal form of pointillism, wielding a paper punch to cut out multitudes of confetti-like disks, which she dispersed with varying degrees of premeditation and randomness over the surfaces of her pictures."[7][20] One example of this is a 17 x 90 inch, untitled drawing-collage from 1973; Pindell used over 20 thousand hand-numbered paper dots to form vertical and horizontal rows with rhythmic peacefulness, uniting order and chaos .[21]

In 1969, Pindell gained recognition for her participation in the exhibition American Drawing Biennial XXIII at the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, and by 1972, had her first major exhibition at Spelman College in Atlanta.[16]

In 1973, her work with circles received acclaim at a show in the A.I.R. (Artists-In-Residence) Gallery in SoHo where her style had solidified into expression through "large-scale, untitled, nonrepresentational, abstract paintings".[7] Also in 1973, Pindell began work on her "Video Drawings" series.[22] At the advice of her doctor, Pindell bought a television for her studio to encourage her from working long hours on her dot works.[22] She became interested in the artificial light from her television monitor, and began to write out small numerals on acetate, which she stuck to the TV screen.[22] She then photographed her drawings placed over the monitor.[22] These experiments lead to a long series of works that feature her drawings over sporting events and news broadcastings, including televised elections.[22]

The spray paintings of the early 1970s, which made use of the scrap pieces of paper from which holes had been punched, were dark and smoldering, yet there was also a shimmering light. This appearance of light would carry on as Pindell began building up the punched out dots on the canvas, sometimes even sprinkling glitter across the surface, too. These canvases were rich visual feasts of color and light.

In these years, Pindell also describes feeling great influence in her work from the Black Power and feminist movements, as well as from exposure to new art forms during her day job at MoMA and her travels abroad (particularly to Africa).[23] She became fascinated by African sculpture exhibited at MoMA and in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and began to mirror the practice of encoding and accumulation in her own work.[7] The material of these pieces also informed Pindell's work: while African art embraces the use of objects in sculpture such as beads, horns, shells, hair, and claws, so Pindell's collages began to incorporate additional elements including paper, glitter, acrylic, and dye.[7]

By the 1980s, Pindell was also working on unstretched canvas. A few large scale works have a similar effect of looking totally white from a distance but actually being made up of tiny dots of colored paper, sequins, and paint. Pindell likened this experience of viewing her paintings to whitewashing her own identity to make it more palatable for the art world. However, she also was met with criticism because this work was not overtly political in appearance. At this time, she also began combining the ideas of the video drawings and the hole punched works; she started adding numbers to each individual hole punch and arranging them in extremely neat rows.

In 1979, Pindell was in a traumatic car accident, from which she suffered severe memory loss.[24] It was at this point that her work became much more autobiographical, in part as an effort to help herself heal.[23][25] Her painting Autobiography, which was part of an eight-painting series on her recovery, used Pindell's own body as the focal point. For this piece, she cut and sewed a traced outline of herself onto a large piece of canvas as part of a complex collage.[25] She also started collaging postcards from friends and from her own travels into her work. She'd often cut the postcards into angular strips and paste them an inch or so apart, leaving room to paint between the strips. The repetition of forms created a vibrating, fractured feel. Her reason for using postcards was to spark her memory that had been affected in the car accident.

In 1980, she made a video called Free, White, and 21,[26] in which she appears in a blonde wig, dark glasses, and with a pale stocking over her head as a caricature of a white woman, discussing instances of racism that she has experienced throughout her life.[citation needed] "You really must be paranoid," Pindell says performing the white woman, "I have never had experiences like that. But, of course, I am free, white and 21."[27] Soon she began expending a particular focus on racism in the art world, a subject on which she has published multiple writings. In 1980, she openly addressed the persistent presence of racism even within the feminist movement, organizing a show at A.I.R. Gallery titled The Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the US.[28] She became increasingly aware that she had often been selected for exhibition as a token black among a group of other artists, she and Carolyn Martin cofounded a cross-generational black women's artist collective called "Entitled: Black Women Artists," that has since grown to international membership, likely thanks to Pindell's consistent travel and lecturing.[16][23] Over the years, she has visited five continents and lived in Japan, Sweden, and India for periods of time, all the while producing new work, and lecturing/writing on racism and the art community.[25]

Throughout the 1980s, she continued to work with expressions of identity through her painting, particularly on her own negotiation of multiple identities, as her heritage includes African, European, Seminole, Central American, and Afro-Caribbean roots, along with her position as ethnically Jewish, raised Christian.[25] During this time, her pieces also became increasingly political, addressing women's issues, racism, child abuse, slavery, and AIDS.[11] According to Pindell, among critics of this new work, "There was a nostalgia for my non-issue related work of the 1970s."[23]

In the 1990s, Pindell displayed a series of memorial works and a sequence of "word" paintings, in which her body in silhouette is overlaid with words such as "slave trade." This later series is reminiscent of an earlier work about South Africa that features a slashed canvas roughly stitched back together and the word "INTERROGATION" laid on top.[23]

In the late 1940s, early 1950s, Howardena gained inspiration for her more circular artworks from a root beer bottle she saw while with her parents in Ohio. The bottom of the mug had a big red circle on it, a mark once placed on dishes and silverware used to serve people of color in the south.[29]


Since her first major show at Spelman in 1971, Pindell has exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions[edit]


  • Paintings and Drawings by Howardena Pindell, Rockefeller Memorial Galleries, Spelman College, Atlanta, November 7–23


  • Howardena Pindell, A.I.R. Gallery, New York
  • Howardena Pindell, Douglass College Art Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey


  • Howardena Pindell: Paintings and Drawings, Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center, State University of New York, Fredonia


  • Howardena Pindell: Video Drawings, Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway; Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen; Fyns Stiftsmuseum, Odense, Denmark; Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, New York; Student Union Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


  • Howardena Pindell, Just Above Midtown, Inc., New York


  • Howardena Pindell, Art Academy of Cincinnati


  • Howardena Pindell: Works on Paper, Canvas and Video Drawings, State University of New York at Stony Brook


  • Howardena Pindell: New Works on Paper and Canvas, Lerner-Heller Gallery, New York, April 5–30


  • Howardena Pindell: Recent Works on Canvas, Lerner-Heller Gallery, New York, April 4–29
  • Howardena Pindell: Recent Works on Paper, Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York, April 4–May 2


  • Howardena Pindell, Memory Series: Japan, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, February 1–19


  • Howardena Pindell: Traveler’s Memories, Japan, Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, January 20–March 17
  • Howardena Pindell: Traveler’s Memories, India, David Heath Gallery, Atlanta, February 5–March 2


  • Howardena Pindell: Odyssey, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, February 12–June 12
  • Howardena Pindell, Harris-Brown Gallery, Boston
  • Howardena Pindell: Recent Work, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan


  • Howardena Pindell, G. R. N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit, September 25–November 7


  • Howardena Pindell, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, March 25–June 18
  • Howardena Pindell: Autobiography, Cyrus Gallery, New York, October 5–November 18


  • Howardena Pindell, Grove Gallery, State University of New York, Albany, October 11–November 30


  • Howardena Pindell, David Heath Gallery, Atlanta
  • Howardena Pindell, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
  • Howardena Pindell: A Retrospective 1972–1992, Bevier Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, Nov 13 to Dec 9


  • Howardena Pindell: A Retrospective 1972–1992, Art Gallery, Georgia State University, Atlanta, July 14–August 13


  • Howardena Pindell, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan


  • Howardena Pindell: Mixed Media on Canvas, Johnson Gallery, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 2–February 29
  • Howardena Pindell, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago


  • Witness to Our Time: A Decade of Work by Howardena Pindell, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York


  • Howardena Pindell: Collages, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
  • Howardena Pindell: Recent Work, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago


  • Howardena Pindell: An Intimate Retrospective, Harriet Tubman Museum, Macon, Georgia, March 7–April 7


  • Howardena Pindell, Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina


  • Howardena Pindell, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit


  • Howardena Pindell: Works on Paper, 1968–2004, Sragow Gallery, New York, April 3–June 5
  • Howardena Pindell: Visual Affinities, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY, May 15–June 27


  • Howardena Pindell: In My Lifetime, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, New York, June 3–August 31


  • Howardena Pindell: Hidden Histories, Louisiana Art and Science Museum, Baton Rouge, January 10–April 5


  • Howardena Pindell: Autobiography: Strips, Dots, and Video, 1974–2009, Sandler Hudson Gallery, Atlanta, October 23–November 28


  • Howardena Pindell: Video Drawings, 1973–2007, Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, March 15–April 16


  • Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974–1980, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, April 10–May 17


  • Howardena Pindell, Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, September 11–October 29, 2015
  • Howardena Pindell, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, August 25–December 5


  • Howardena Pindell: Recent Paintings, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, October 26–December 16





Group exhibitions[31][edit]


  • XXIII American Drawing Biennial, Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, Virginia, February 2–March 9


  • Contemporary Black Artists in America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, April 6–May 16
  • 26 Contemporary Women Artists, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut, April 18–June 13


  • 1972 Annual Exhibition: Contemporary American Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, January 25–March 19
  • A New Vitality in Art: The Black Woman, John and Norah Warbeke Gallery, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, April 6–30
  • American Women Artists, Kunsthaus Hamburg, April 14–May 14
  • Unlikely Photography, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, August 5–September 26


  • Harmony Hammond and Howardena Pindell, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, January 13–31
  • Yngre Amerikansk Kunst: Tegninger og Grafik, Gentofte Rådhus, Copenhagen, January 24–February 11; Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, February 18–March 4; Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway, March 18–April 15; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, April 28–June 11; Moderna Museum, Stockholm, September 15–October 21
  • New American Graphic Art, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, September 12–October 28
  • Blacks: USA: 1973, New York Cultural Center, New York, September 26–November 15


  • Painting and Sculpture Today, Indianapolis Museum of Art, May 22–July 14; Contemporary Art Center and Taft Museum, Cincinnati, September 12–October 26
  • Five American Women in Paris, Galerie Gerald Piltzer, Paris, February
  • Paperworks, Rosa Esman Gallery, New York


  • Artists Make Toys, Clocktower Gallery, New York, January 1–15
  • Color, Image, Light, Women's Interart Center, New York, November 13–30
  • Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, November 16–December 14


  • Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture of the ’60s and ’70s from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, October 7–November 18, 1975; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, December 17, 1975 – February 15, 1976


  • Rooms: P.S.1, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Queens, New York, June 9–26
  • Project Rebuild, Grey Art Gallery & Study Center, New York University, New York, August 11–27
  • American Artists ’76: A Celebration, Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio
  • Photonotations, Rosa Esman Gallery, New York
  • Works on Paper, Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York


  • The Handmade Paper Object, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, October 29–November 28, 1976; Oakland Museum of California, December 21, 1976–February 6, 1977; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston, May 10–June 14, 1977


  • Herbert Distel: The Museum of Drawers, Museum der Stadt Solothurn, Switzerland, October 29–November 28, 1976; International Curatorial Centrum, Antwerp, December 18, 1976–January 9, 1977; Museum Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, January 23–February 20, 1977; Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York, March 21–May 7, 1978; New Orleans Museum of Art, August 25–October 15, 1978; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, November–December, 1978; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, May 2–June 10, 1979


  • The Material Dominant: Some Current Artists and Their Media, Pennsylvania State University Museum of Art, University Park, January 29–March 27
  • Drawing and Collage: Selections from the New York University Collection, Grey Art Gallery & Study Center, New York University, New York, June 1–July 1
  • Patterning and Decoration, Museum of the American Foundation for the Arts, Miami, October 7–November 30


  • Works from the Collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, November 11, 1977–January 1, 1978
  • New Ways with Paper, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, December 2, 1977–February 20, 1978


  • Overview, 1972–1977: An Exhibition in Two Parts, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, March 5–April 9
  • Thick Paint, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, October 1–November 8


  • Visual Poetry and Language Art, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, March 26–April 13
  • As We See Ourselves: Artists’ Self-Portraits, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York, June 22–August 5
  • Another Generation, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York


  • Howardena Pindell and Jack Whitten, Holman Hall Gallery, Trenton State College, February 14–29
  • Fire and Water: Paper as Art, Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack, New York, March 30–May 4


  • Afro-American Abstraction: An Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture by Nineteen Black American Artists, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, New York, February 17–April 6, 1980; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York, February 6–March 29, 1981; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, July 1–August 30, 1982; Oakland Museum of California, November 13, 1982 – January 2, 1983; Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Memphis, February 2–March 20, 1983; The Art Center, South Bend, Indiana, September 4–October 16, 1983; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, January 22–February 26, 1984; Bellevue Art Museum, Washington, March 25–May 6, 1984; Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, June 1–July 15, 1984; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, September 14–November 4, 1984


  • Stay Tuned, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, July 25–September 10
  • Five on Fabric, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, August 28–October 11


  • Nancy Reagan Fashion Show, Printed Matter, New York, April 1–30


  • On Trial: Yale School of Art, 22 Wooster Gallery, New York, December 29, 1982 – January 8, 1983


  • All that Glitters, Tweed Gallery, Plainfield, New Jersey, May 11–June 18
  • Keeping Culture Alive: Artists’ Housing in New York, Urban Center Galleries, Municipal Art Society, New York, August 22–September 17
  • Language, Drama, Source, and Vision, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, October 8–November 27
  • The Television Show: Video Photographs, Robert Freidus Gallery, New York


  • A Celebration of American Women Artists: Part II, the Recent Generation, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, February 11–March 3
  • ID: An Exhibition of Third World Woman Photographers, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, New York, October 14–December 9
  • Labor Intensive Abstraction, The Clocktower, New York, November 8–December 8


  • Adornments, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, New York, December 10, 1985 – January 4, 1986


  • Tradition and Conflict: Images of a Turbulent Decade, 1963–1973, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, January 27–June 30, 1985; Lang Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, California, January 19–February 20, 1986; Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York, March 22–April 17, 1986; Museum of the Center for Afro-American Artists, Boston, May 18–June 22, 1986; Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, Virginia, August 11–September 26, 1986; Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri, Columbia, November 15, 1986 – January 4, 1987; David and Alfred Smart Gallery, University of Chicago, May 15–June 30, 1987; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, August 7–September 20, 1987; Tower Fine Arts Gallery, State University of New York, Brockport, October 9–November 15, 1987


  • Transitions: The Afro-American Artist, Bergen Museum of Art and Science, Paramus, New Jersey, February 1–26
  • In Homage to Ana Mendieta, Zeus-Trabia Gallery, New York, February 6–25
  • Progressions: A Cultural Legacy, The Clocktower, New York, February 13–March 15
  • Television’s Impact on Contemporary Art, Queens Museum, New York, September 13–October 26
  • Masters of Color, Harris-Brown Gallery, Boston, October 15–November 15


  • Race and Representation, Art Gallery, Hunter College, City University of New York, January 26–March 6
  • The Afro-American Artist in the Age of Cultural Pluralism, Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey, February 1–March 8
  • 9 Uptown, Harlem School of the Arts, New York, April 11–May 9
  • Home, Goddard-Riverside Community Center, New York, May 8–31


  • Outrageous Women, Ceres Gallery, New York, December 2, 1987 – January 1, 1988


  • 1938–1988: The Work of Five Black Women Artists, Art Gallery, Atlanta College of Art, July 8–August 7


  • The Turning Point: Art and Politics in 1968, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, September 9–October 16, 1988; Art Gallery, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, November 10, 1988 – January 14, 1989
  • Art as a Verb: The Evolving Continuum, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, November 21, 1988 – January 8, 1989; Metropolitan Life Gallery, New York, March 6–April 8, 1989; The *Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, March 12–June 18, 1989
  • Alice and Look Who Else, Through the Looking Glass, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, New York, December 10, 1988 – January 7, 1989


  • Bridges and Boundaries, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, New York, January 7–February 19
  • Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream, 1970–1985, Cincinnati Art Museum, February 22–April 2; New Orleans Museum of Art, May 6–June 8; Denver Art Museum, July 22–September 10; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, October 20–December 31
  • On the Cutting Edge: 10 Curators Choose 30 Artists, Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, Hempstead, New York, April 16–June 25


  • The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, May 12–August 19; Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, New York, May 16–August 18; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, May 19–August 18
  • Figuring the Body, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, July 28–October 28


  • Center Margins, Howard Yezerski Gallery, January–February 6
  • Aspects of Collage, Guild Hall Museum, New York, May 5–June 9


  • Chess and Checkers, Exit Art, New York, September 23–October 25


  • Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party in Feminist Art History, Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, University of California, Los Angeles, April 24–August 18
  • Thinking Print: Books to Billboards, 1980–95, Museum of Modern Art, New York, June 20–September 10


  • Sniper’s Nest: Art that Has Lived with Lucy R. Lippard, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, October 28–December 22, 1996; Scales Fine Arts Center, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, January 15–April 10, 1997; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, June 6–July 20, 1997; Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, November 2–December 21, 1997; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, April 24–September 28, 1998


  • Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African American Women Artists, Museum of Fine Art, Spelman College, Atlanta, July 16–December 31, 1996; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana, February 1–March 30, 1997; Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, Florida, November 4, 1997 – January 7, 1998; The Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia, January 25–March 16, 1998; African-American Museum, Dallas, April 6–May 19, 1998; Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, June 9–August 11, 1998; Kennedy Museum of American Art, Ohio University, Athens, September 1–October 14, 1998; Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, November 4, 1998 – January 7, 1999; Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, January 28–March 16, 1999; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, April 6–May 30, 1999; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, June 19–August 15, 1999; African-American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno, California, September 4–October 8, 1999


  • Women Artists in the Vogel Collection, Brenau University, Gainesville, Georgia, February 5–April 5
  • Not for Sale: Feminism and Art in the USA during the 1970s, Apex Art, New York, February 12–March 14


  • An Exuberant Bounty: Prints and Drawings by African Americans, Philadelphia Museum of Art, February 5–April 16
  • Hidden Histories: African American Slavery and the Philippine Struggle for Independence after the War of 1898, Pro Arts, Oakland, California, March 8–April 15


  • Outer and Inner Space: A Video Exhibition in Three Parts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, January 18–August 18
  • Math-Art/Art-Math, Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida, February 22–March 30


  • In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, January 12–August 4, 2002; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, September 7–December 1, 2002; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, January 4–April 6, 2003; International Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, May 15–July 27, 2003; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, August 30–November 9, 2003; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama, December 20, 2003 – March 28, 2004


  • Layers of Meaning: Collage and Abstraction in the Late 20th Century, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, February 8–April 27
  • Wish You Were Here, Too, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, June 24–July 19


  • Strange Days, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, September 20, 2003 – July 4, 2004


  • Something to Look Forward to, Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 26–June 27


  • Creating Their Own Image, Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, The New School, New York, November 26, 2004 – January 30, 2005


  • Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art since 1970, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, January 22–April 17
  • Bodies of Evidence: Contemporary Perspectives, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, July 1–September 25


  • An Atlas of Drawings: Transforming Chronologies, Museum of Modern Art, New York, January 26–October 2
  • Driven to Abstraction: Contemporary Work by American Artists, New York State Museum, Albany, January 28–March 26
  • Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964–1980, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, April 5–July 2
  • High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967–1975, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, August 6–October 15, 2006; American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington, DC, November 21, 2006 – January 21, 2007; National Academy Museum, New York, February 13–April 22, 2007


  • For the Love of the Game: Race and Sport in African-American Art, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, June 1–November 30
  • WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, March 4–July 16, 2007; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, September 21–December 16, 2007; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, New York, February 17–May 12, 2008; Vancouver Art Gallery, October 4, 2008 – January 18, 2009
  • Lines, Grids, Stains, Words, Museum of Modern Art, New York, June 13–October 22, 2007; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal, May 9–June 22, 2008; Museum Wiesbaden, Germany, September 28, 2008 – January 1, 2009
  • Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image since 1970, Museum of Fine Art, Spelman College, Atlanta, September 14, 2007 – May 28, 2008; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, October 18, 2008 – January 4, 2009


  • Strength in Numbers: Artists Respond to Conflict, Sragow Gallery, New York, June 3–July 31


  • Paper: Pressed, Stained, Slashed, Folded, Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 11–June 22
  • Hidden Gems: Works on Paper, June Kelly Gallery, New York, July 9–31


  • The Chemistry of Color: African-American Artists in Philadelphia, 1970–1990, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, January 11–April 10
  • Collected: Reflections on the Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, April 1–June 27
  • Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 7, 2010 – April 18, 2011
  • Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park, September 16–October 29, 2010; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, September 16, 2010 – June 26, 2011


  • Currents in Contemporary Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, Florida, January 1–June 30
  • VideoStudio: Playback, The Studio Museum in Harlem, March 31–June 26


  • Full Spectrum: Prints from the Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia Museum of Art, September 7–November 25


  • Black in the Abstract, Part I: Epistrophy, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, October 31, 2013 – January 19, 2014


  • Art Expanded, 1958–1978, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 14, 2014 – March 8, 2015
  • Variation: Conversations in and around Abstract Painting, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 24, 2014 – March 22, 2015
  • Go Stand Next to The Mountain, Hales Gallery, London, November 28, 2014 – January 24, 2015


  • Represent: 200 Years of African American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, January 10–April 5
  • New Acquisitions, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, February 11–June 7
  • Piece Work, 32 Edgewood Gallery, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut, April 6–May 24
  • America Is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 1–September 27
  • H
  • Greater New York, MoMA P.S. 1, Queens, New York, October 11, 2015 – March 7, 2016
  • Marks Made, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, October 17, 2015 – January 24, 2016
  • Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, November 13, 2015 – April 15, 2016; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, June 2–September 25, 2016
  • You Go Girl! Celebrating Women Artists, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York, December 5, 2015 – April 3, 2016


  • Blue and Black: African Rainbow, University of Delaware, Newark, February 10–May 15
  • Surface Area: Selections from the Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, March 24–June 26
  • Hey You! Who Me?, 32 Edgewood Gallery, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut, April 6–June 5
  • FORTY, MoMA P.S. 1, Queens, New York, June 19–August 29
  • Skins: Body as Matter and Process, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, June 23–July 29
  • Haptic, Alexander Gray Associates, New York, July 7–August 12
  • The African American Narrative, Maitland Art Center, Florida, July 15–September 4
  • Her Wherever, Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, October 8 – November 13
  • Real / Radical / Psychological: The Collection on Display, Mildred Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, September 9, 2016 – January 15, 2017
  • Reading the Image: Text in American Art Since 1969, Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, CT, October 8, 2016 – January 22, 2017
  • Art AIDS America, Alphawood Gallery, December 1, 2016 – April 2, 2017


  • Expanding Tradition: Selections from the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, January 28–May 7
  • Picturing Math: Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, January 31–May 1
  • Masterclass: A Survey of Work from the Twentieth Century, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, February 28–April 8
  • A Birthday Present as a Watch: Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Talia Chetrit, Ann Craven, Howardena Pindell, Thea Djordjadze and Hannah Weinberger, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris, March 18–June 17
  • Power, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, March 29–June 10
  • Painting on the Edge: A Historical Survey, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, June 8–July 29
  • 20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, July 22–December 31
  • Time as Landscape: Inquiries of Art and Science, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, September 28–December 31
  • We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85, Brooklyn Museum, New York, April 21–September 17, 2017; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, October 13, 2017 – January 14, 2018; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, February 17–May 27, 2018; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, June 26–September 30, 2018
  • Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, June 8–September 17, 2017; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., October 13, 2017 – January 21, 2018; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, May 5–August 5, 2018
  • An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney's Collection, 1940–2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, August 18, 2017–April 2018
  • Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 13, 2017 – January 21, 2018
  • Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Tate Modern, London, July 12–October 22, 2017; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, February 2–April 23, 2018; Brooklyn Museum, New York, September 7, 2018 – February 3, 2019


  • Histórias Afro-Atlânticas, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, Brazil, June 28–October 21
  • Outliers and American Vanguard Art, National Gallery, Washington D.C., January 28–May 13, 2018; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, June 24–September 30, 2018; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 18, 2018 – March 18, 2019



Pindell has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in painting in 1987, the Most Distinguished Body of Work or Performance Award, granted by the College Art Association in 1990, the Studio Museum of Harlem Artist Award, the Distinguished Contribution to the Profession Award from the Women's Caucus for Art in 1996, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships[16][35][36][37] and a United States Artists fellowship in 2020.[38]

She also holds honorary doctorates from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Parsons The New School for Design.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Greenberger, Alex (2021-01-14). "'There Has Been Change': Artist Howardena Pindell on a 1989 Article About U.S. Museums' Exclusion of Black Artists". Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  2. ^ a b "Howardena Pindell, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Howardena Pindell – U.S. Department of State". Retrieved 2022-09-11.
  4. ^ "Howardena Pindell Artist, Teacher, and Social Observer, Getty Trust Oral History Project, African American Art History Initiative, Getty Research Institute" (PDF). Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. November 15, 2018. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  5. ^ a b c Winston, C. M. "Pindell, Howardena". Oxford African American Studies Center. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780195301731.013.36530. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  6. ^ "Howard Pindell". The Frederick News-Post. June 20, 2006. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Barnwell, AD (1996). "Been To Africa and Back- Contextualizing Howardena Pindell's Abstract Art". International Review of African American Art 13.3.
  8. ^ Greenan, Garth (2014). Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974-1980. Garth Greenan Gallery. New York. ISBN 978-0-9898902-4-3. OCLC 881830618.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Renowned artist Pindell to return to Yale to discuss her life's work". YaleNews. 2018-11-26. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  10. ^ "Oral history interview with Howardena Pindell, 2012 Dec. 1-4". Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  11. ^ a b "Biography", Artist website, Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  12. ^ Howardena Pindell : what remains to be seen. Beckwith, Naomi,, Cassel Oliver, Valerie,, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, Ill.). Chicago, IL. 2018. ISBN 978-3-7913-5737-9. OCLC 1004512111.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ a b c d e "Howardena Pindell". SBU Art. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  14. ^ Holland, Cotter. Howardena Pindell Paintings and Drawings, A Retrospective Exhibition, 1972-1992.
  15. ^ a b c d "History" Air Gallery, Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d Smith, Jesse Carney, Lean’tin Bracks, and Linda T. Wynn. “Howardena Pindell.” The Complete Encyclopedia of African American History. Visible Ink, 2015. 272-73. Print.
  17. ^ Mark, Lisa Gabrielle (2007). WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  18. ^ Anon 2018
  19. ^ "Artist Spotlight: Howardena Pindell", National Museum of Women in the Arts, Retrieved online 24 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Howardena Pindell - Biography". 1943-04-14. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  21. ^ "The Beauty of Howardena Pindell's Rage". Hyperallergic. 2014-05-11. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  22. ^ a b c d e "Screen Interactions: Howardena Pindell", BOMB Magazine, Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e Mira Schor, Emma Amos, Susan Bee, Johanna Drucker, María Fernández, Amelia Jones, Shirley Kaneda, Helen Molesworth, Howardena Pindell, Mira Schor, Collier Schorr & Faith Wilding (1999) Contemporary Feminism: Art Practice, Theory, and Activism—An Intergenerational Perspective, Art Journal, 58:4, 8-29, DOI: 10.1080/00043249.1999.10791962
  24. ^ Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen", MCA Chicago, Retrieved online 24 October 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d Walker, Sydney. "The Artist in Search of Self: Howardena Pindell." School Arts 94.1 (1994): 29. Web.
  26. ^ "MoMA | Howardena Pindell. Free, White and 21. 1980". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  27. ^ Greenberger, Alex (2018-02-06). "Full Circle: Howardena Pindell Steps Back into the Spotlight with a Traveling Retrospective". ARTnews. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  28. ^ Reckitt, Helena, and Peggy Phelan. Art and Feminism. London; New York, NY; Phaidon, 2001. Print.
  29. ^ "Howardena Pindell's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  30. ^ "Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen". Rose Art Museum. Brandeis University. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  31. ^ "Howardena Pindell".
  32. ^ "Howardena Pindell – American, born 1943". Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g "National Gallery of Art Acquires Howardena Pindell's Seminal Video 'Free, White and 21'". Culture Type. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  34. ^ "Collections Online - Howardena Pindell", Philadelphia Museum of Art, Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Howardena Pindell". African American Art Exhibitions. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  36. ^ Farris, Phoebe (1999). Women Artists of Color: A Bio-critical Sourcebook to 20th Century Artists in the Americas. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
  37. ^ Henkes, Robert (1993-01-01). The art of Black American women: works of twenty-four artists of the twentieth century. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0899508189. OCLC 27143821.
  38. ^ Greenberger, Alex (2020-01-22). "United States Artists Names 2020 Recipients of Coveted Fellowships, Including Howardena Pindell, Martine Syms, Cameron Rowland". Retrieved 2020-01-22.

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