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Virtual | Conversation: Howardena Pindell and Adeze Wilford, ‘Rope/Fire/Water’ at The Shed
February 5, 2021 @ 2:00 pm
2pm ET | 1pm CT | 11am PT
ArtTable’s Curatorial Perspective program series invites curators to present and discuss timely exhibitions and initiatives. Please join us for a discussion with artist Howardena Pindell and Adeze Wilford, Assistant Curator at The Shed and organizer of the exhibition, Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water, currently on view at The Shed in New York.
Please join us after the discussion for 10-15 minutes of virtual networking in Zoom Breakout Rooms! In pre-pandemic times, ArtTable programs were a time for members and non-members to connect with old friends and meet new people, and we aim to simulate that in the virtual realm!
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About the Speakers
Born in Philadelphia in 1943, Howardena Pindell studied painting at Boston University and Yale University. After graduating, she accepted a job at the Museum of Modern Art, where she worked for 12 years (1967–1979). Her first role was an Exhibition Assistant, then Assistant Curator in the Department of National and International Traveling Exhibitions, and finally Associate Curator and Acting Director in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books. In 1979, she began teaching at the State University of New York, Stony Brook where she is now a full-time professor. Throughout her career, Pindell has exhibited extensively. Notable solo-exhibitions include: Spelman College (1971, Atlanta), 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), G.R. N’Namdi Gallery (1992, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, Chicago, Detroit, and New York), Garth Greenan Gallery, New York (2014, 2017), Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta (2015) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018).
Pindell often employs lengthy, metaphorical processes of destruction/reconstruction. She cuts canvases in strips and sews them back together, building up surfaces in elaborate stages. She paints or draws on sheets of paper, punches out dots from the paper using a hole punch, drops the dots onto her canvas, and squeegees paint through the “stencil” left in the paper from which she had punched the dots. Almost invariably, her paintings are installed unstretched, held to the wall merely by the strength of a few finishing nails. The artist’s fascination with gridded, serialized imagery, along with surface texture appears throughout her oeuvre. Even in her later, more politically charged work, Pindell reverts to these thematic focuses in order to address social issues of homelessness, AIDs, war, genocide, sexism, xenophobia, and apartheid.
Most recently, Pindell’s work appeared in: Black in the Abstract: Part I, Epistrophy (2013, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston), and Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, (2015–2016, Museum Brandhorst; 2016, Museum Moderner Kunst) and We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 (2017, the Brooklyn Museum, New York). Howardena Pindell was the subject of the 2018 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago titled ‘Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen.’ The exhibition later traveled to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2018) and the Rose Art Museum (2019).
Adeze Wilford is an Assistant Curator at The Shed. She was an inaugural joint curatorial fellow at The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Modern Art. She organized Vernacular Interior at Hales Gallery in 2019, as well as Excerpt (2017) at the Studio Museum and Black Intimacy (2017), a film series at MoMA. Other curatorial projects include Harlem Postcards F/W 2016/2017 and Color in Shadows the 2016 Expanding The Walls exhibition at Studio Museum. Prior to this Adeze was the Public Programs and Community Engagement assistant at the Studio Museum. She has contributed scholarship to various catalogues and magazines including Young,Gifted and Black and Black Refractions. She graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Art History and African-American Studies.
This program is generously supported by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has been a leader in providing grants enabling emerging and established artists to focus on their work. Funding helps artists to create new work, acquire art supplies, rent studio space, and prepare exhibitions. The Foundation also provides grants to organizations that directly engage with artists, such as artist residency programs. Please visit www.pkf.org for more information.
Images: Installation view of ‘Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water’ at The Shed; Howardena Pindell; Adeze Wilford, © 2015 Scott Rudd
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