In episode 54 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the LEGENDARY artist Howardena Pindell !!!!
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Working across a variety of mediums, from painting to film, and who has employed a range of unconventional materials, such as glitter to talcum powder; since the late 1960s, Howardena Pindell has examined a wide range of subject matter, from the personal, historical, political and social for her highly important and activistic like work that deals with racism, feminism, violence and exploitation.
Born in 1943 in Philadelphia, Pindell first studied painting at Boston University and later Yale University, and upon graduating, accepted a job in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at the Museum of Modern Art, where she remained for 12 years, from 1967 to 1979. A co-founder of the pioneering feminist A.I.R Gallery, Pindell is also a professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, where she has been since 1979.
Renowned early works include her mesmeric and labour intensive, pointillist paintings of the 1970s, created by spraying paint through a template, and Free, White and 21, a video made in 1980 in which the artist plays herself and, wearing a mask, a white woman, whose conversation relays Pindell’s own experiences of racism, which was first shown at artist Ana Mendieta’s curated exhibition at AIR in 1980.
Currently the subject of a major exhibition right now at New York’s The Shed, a show examining the violent, historical trauma of racism in America and the therapeutic power of artistic creation, other recent museum solo exhibitions have included at the MCA Chicago, Rose Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, as well as an upcoming exhibition at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge.
Pindell has also featured in recent landmark group exhibitions such as the touring Soul of a Nation: Art in the age of Black Power, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 at the Brooklyn Museum, and WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, at LACMA. Among many many others.
Addressing important subjects that continue to educate people around the world, when asked about her viewers Howardena recently said in an interview, “I want them to look at the hidden history instead of the history we were taught”. And that is why we are so lucky to have her work out on the world stage, and I couldn't be more delighted to be speaking with her today.
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Laura Hendry
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield