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Howardena Pindell

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Information about Howardena Pindell

Profile image of Howardena Pindell

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Collage Artist
Art Professor
Curator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Southern Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Egypt
Favorite Quote:
Are You Kidding? Oh, God.

Birthplace

Born:
4/14/1943
Birth Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Collage Artist
Art Professor
Curator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Southern Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Egypt
Favorite Quote:
Are You Kidding? Oh, God.

Birthplace

Born:
4/14/1943
Birth Location:
Philadelphia
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Biography

World renowned abstract artist Howardena Pindell was born on April 14, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pindell became interested in art at an early age when she began taking art classes on Saturdays; she started out as a figurative painter. Pindell received her B.F.A. degree in painting from Boston University's School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1965, and her M.F.A. degree from Yale University's School of Art and Architecture in 1967. Pindell was also awarded two honorary doctorates: one from the Massachusetts College of Art, and one from Parson School of Design in New York.

Pindell began her career in the art world as the first African American Associate Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at the New York Museum of Modern Art, a position she held for twelve years. Pindell rose from Curatorial Assistant to Associate Curator during her time at the New York Museum of Modern Art.. In 1979, Pindell began a new career as Associate Professor of Students at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Pindell’s earliest drawings, composed of a patterned sequence of words and numbers on graph paper, suggest post minimalism as a major ingredient in her abstractions. In the 1970s, Pindell developed a collage technique using small circles hand punched from sheets of blank or printed paper. After numbering each one individually, she pasted them on sheets of punched and un-punched paper so that they floated on surfaces at once porous and solid. In the 1980s, she moved to photo-based collage, video, and relief paintings with intensely political subject matter. Pindell traveled extensively to Africa, Asia, Europe, Russia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, lived in Japan for seven months, and in India for four months. Pindell used these journeys and experiences as inspiration to integrate her own history as content for the autobiographies of her life. Between 1995 and 1999, Pindell taught at Yale University as a visiting professor; from 2003 to 2006, she served as Director of the MFA Program at Stony Brook University. Pindell also served as a full Professor of Art at Stony Brook University.

Pindell’s belief that the arts community should become more inclusive of women and minorities sparked a revolution in her work; she published groundbreaking studies that documented the lack of representation of artists of color through racism, censorship and violence.

Pindell works are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Yale Art Museum, New Haven, the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, and the Rhode Island School of Art Museum. Pindell also became an accomplished writer; a book of her writings, The Heart of the Question, was published in 1997. In 2000 Pindell received the IAM Pioneer award.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Howardena Pindell's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes her father's childhood and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell talks about her father's activism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell describes her parent's personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell describes her paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell talks about her mother's family members who passed as white
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell describes her mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell describes her parent's marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell describes her mother's education and temperament
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell talks about her mother's childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell talks about being an only child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell recalls her neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell recalls her experiences of racial discrimination in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell recalls her experiences of racial discrimination while travelling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell describes her early education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell describes her early talent for art
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell describes her experiences in grade school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell remembers her high school education in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell describes her social life and pastimes as a teenager
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell recalls her difficulties at school in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell recalls her art teachers at Philadelphia High School for Girls
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell remembers her early interest in reading
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell remembers her high school prom
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell describes her lack of interest in sports as a child
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell recalls her parent's political involvement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell recalls her decision to attend Boston University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell describes her experience of racial discrimination at Boston University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell describes her early artwork
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell recalls being hired by New York City's Museum of Modern Art
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell recalls how the Vietnam War influenced her artwork
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell remembers the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell recalls President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell recalls protests against New York City's museums
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell remembers being a black, female curator in late 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell recalls the founding of Artists in Residence Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell talks about discrimination in commercial art galleries
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell talks about black artists' exclusion from galleries
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell remembers her artistic breakthrough in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell explains the use of number in her art
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell recalls her car accident
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell remembers teaching at Stony Brook University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell talks about making her artwork accessible to the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell describes the subjects of her artwork, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell describes the subjects of her artwork, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell describes her 'Autobiography' painting series
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes the influence of astronomy upon her work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell recalls publishing a study of discrimination in the art world
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell talks about artist Kara Walker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell talks about other artists she admires
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell talks about her travels
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Howardena Pindell describes her experiences in Japan
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Howardena Pindell talks about her travels in India and Africa
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Howardena Pindell talks about the spiritual component of African American art
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Howardena Pindell talks about the representation of African Americans in art
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Howardena Pindell describes her plans for future artwork
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Howardena Pindell shares advice for aspiring artists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Howardena Pindell reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Howardena Pindell reflects upon the importance of history
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Howardena Pindell describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Howardena Pindell shares a message for future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Howardena Pindell describes her legacy and how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Howardena Pindell narrates her photographs