• Howardena Pindell, Video Drawings: Swimming, 1975, C-print, 11 × 14".

    “Howardena Pindell: What remains to be seen”

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)
    220 East Chicago Avenue
    February 24–May 20, 2018

    Curated by Naomi Beckwith and Valerie Cassel Oliver

    This highly anticipated retrospective of American artist Howardena Pindell will showcase her fifty-plus-year commitment to creative pursuits. In that time, Pindell has experimented with various media, including painting, drawing, installation, photography, and video. This exhibition will feature approximately 140 works spanning her vast aesthetic vocabulary—figurative paintings from the 1960s, abstract canvases, and the personal and political pieces Pindell made throughout the ’80s—and collectively highlighting the ingenuity of her expressive dexterity. The video Free, White and 21, 1980, in which the artist describes her experience of racism growing up, will also be on view. The accompanying catalogue will include essays by the curators, Lowery Stokes Sims, Charles Gaines, Kellie Jones, and Pindell herself. Travels to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, August 25–November 25, and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, January 24–June 16, 2019. 

  • Mounira Al Solh, untitled, 2015, mixed media on paper, 11 3/4 × 8 1/2". From the series “I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous,” 2012–.

    “Mounira Al Solh: I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous”

    The Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    February 8–April 29, 2018

    Curated by Hendrik Folkerts with Jordan Carter

    Mounira Al Solh has established herself as one of the most exciting young Lebanese artists in a generation set to follow in the outsize footsteps of predecessors such as Rabih Mroué, Walid Raad, and Akram Zaatari. She did so through outrageous expressions of disaffection in videos such as Rawane’s Song and As If I Don’t Fit There, both 2006, which are about having nothing to say regarding Lebanon’s civil war and artists who quit, respectively. It was all an utterly charming ruse, of course, masking the artist’s deep and serious engagement with the politics of war and the aesthetics of craft. Al Solh’s ongoing series of refugee portraits (“I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous,” 2012–), some three hundred of which form the centerpiece of this exhibition, is one of the most sensitive responses to Syria’s civil war to date. Her embroidered flags and tents, also on view, weave mischievous humor into a subtle celebration of heritage in a region where creativity is often devastated but never destroyed.