2018 George Wittenborn Award (ARLIS)
Born in middle-class Philadelphia in the 1940s, Howardena Pindell came of age during the Civil Rights movement. As an African-American woman artist, making her way in the world provided Pindell with source material to inspire her work. This book examines every facet of Pindell’s impressive career to date. Since the 1960s, she has used materials such as glitter, talcum powder, and perfume to stretch the boundaries of traditional canvas painting. She has also infused her work with traces of her labor, such as obsessively affixing dots of pigment and circles made with an ordinary hole punch tool. After a car crash in 1979 left her with short-term amnesia, Pindell’s work looked beyond the painting studio to explore a wide range of subjects, including the personal and diaristic as well as the social and political. This monograph also highlights Pindell’s work with photography, film, and performance. Excerpts from the artist’s writing, in particular her critique of the art world and her responses to feminism and racial politics, provide prescient commentary in light of conversations around equality and inclusion today.