Victoria Miro announces representation of Howardena Pindell

Victoria Miro is delighted to announce representation of US artist Howardena Pindell in collaboration with Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. The first solo exhibition of works by the artist in the UK will be held at Victoria Miro Mayfair in June 2019.


Working across figuration, abstraction and conceptualism, Howardena Pindell has since the 1970s examined a wide range of subject matter, from the personal and diaristic to the social and political. Hers is a complex and nuanced body of work, a fusion of sensuality and intellectual enquiry in which texture, colour, structure and process are employed to mine history (and hidden histories) and address intersecting issues such as racism, feminism, violence and exploitation.


‘It is a pleasure to be working with Howardena Pindell,’ said Victoria Miro. ‘Deeply principled, daringly innovative and boldly incisive, Pindell truly embodies the dictum “the personal is political”. Over the past five decades she has worked across painting, drawing, photography, film and performance, and explored a wide range of subject matter, from the autobiographical to social and cultural concerns. Throughout, her work is driven by an experimental approach to materials and united by sensuous detail. Her beautiful pointillist painting from the early 1970s was one of the highlights of the gallery’s 2018 exhibition Surface Work, which celebrated a century of abstract painting by women. The touring retrospective exhibition, What Remains To Be Seen, organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and about to open at the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts, confirms Pindell’s place in art history, while introducing her work to receptive new audiences. We look forward to entering this next chapter together.’


Pindell is celebrated for employing unconventional materials such as glitter, talcum powder, even perfume, in her work and for rendering visible traces of labour, such as obsessively affixed dots of pigment and paper circles made with a hole punch, or canvases cut into strips and sewn back together, which signify wider, metaphorical processes of deconstruction and reconstruction.


Trailblazing early works include Video Drawings, shown in the inaugural exhibition at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, which led to a long series of works that feature her drawings superimposed over sporting events, news broadcasts and televised elections; and Free, White and 21, 1980, a video in which the artist plays herself and, wearing a mask, a white woman, whose conversation relays Pindell’s own experiences of racism. Her ravishing paintings of the 1970s, created by spraying paint through a template, prefigure what is now regarded as her signature aesthetic, in which colourful paper circles are meticulously affixed to unstretched canvases.  


Pindell’s achievements as an artist are equalled by her role as a curator, educator and activist. She was the first black female curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and a co-founder of the pioneering feminist A.I.R. Gallery. In 1979, she began teaching at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, where she remains a professor.


The major touring survey exhibition Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen, opened at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, (24 February–20 May 2018), travelling to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (25 August–25 November 2018) and Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (1 February–19 May 2019).


Howardena Pindell featured in Victoria Miro’s 2018 exhibition Surface Work, which celebrated a century of abstract painting by women.


Posted January 16 2019

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