Howardena Pindell, artist, author, activist, researcher, museum professional, and Distinguished Professor of Art, State University of New York, Stony Brook; in conversation with James Meyer, curator of modern art, National Gallery of Art
Howardena Pindell (b. 1943) is an artist, author, activist, educator, researcher, and museum professional. 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), first as exhibition assistant, then as assistant curator in the Department of National and International Traveling Exhibitions, and finally as an 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 Distinguished Professor.
In her artistic practice, Pindell’s work reflects a fascination with gridded, serialized imagery and surface texture. She often employs lengthy, metaphorical processes of destruction/reconstruction. Even in her more politically charged work, Pindell reverts to these thematic focuses to address social issues of homelessness, AIDS, war, genocide, sexism, xenophobia, and apartheid. Throughout her museum work and teaching, Pindell has exhibited extensively. James Meyer, exhibition curator for "The Double: Identity and Difference in Art since 1900," joins Pindell to celebrate the National Gallery’s most recent acquisition of her work and to discuss her brilliant career.
Pindell’s work "Free, White and 21" is featured in "The Double," on view July 10–October 31, 2022.