boston

Howardena Pindell

Liz Harris Gallery

Howardena Pindell’s art is both formally elegant and politically savvy. The works here span a variety of mediums: tough and dramatic photo-based pieces; text-laden paintings; and small-format collages created primarily from photographs and postcards. Most of the works have hard-hitting racial messages and the raw power of convictions deeply felt.

Autobiography: Air/CS560, 1988, is a moving example of the power of Pindell’s commitment to social protest. The work combines a number of media (acrylic, tempera, oilstick, paper, polymer photo transfer, and vinyl tape) on an irregularly shaped, cut-and-sewn canvas. Its title is taken from the name of a tear gas that is manufactured in Salzburg, Pennsylvania. In the work, four silhouettes resembling police demarcations of corpses, one each in black, brown, flesh, and gold, spring from the center of the composition. The ragged areas around these

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