chicago

Howardena Pindell, Astronomy: Saturn, Neptune, 2006, ink, acrylic, and gouache on paper, 9 1/2 x 11 3/4".

Howardena Pindell

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

Howardena Pindell, Astronomy: Saturn, Neptune, 2006, ink, acrylic, and gouache on paper, 9 1/2 x 11 3/4".

Howardena Pindell is an iconic figure: Well known for her sui generis paintings as well as for her feminist classic, the twelve-minute video Free, White, and 21 (1980)—which catalogues systemic racial hatred through the lens of personal experience—she was also a trailblazer, an art-world activist in her role as the first black curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and as the only woman of color in the group of feminists who established Artists in Residence (A.I.R.) Gallery in New York in 1972. This long-overdue retrospective, organized by Naomi Beckwith and Valerie Cassel Oliver, celebrated Pindell’s enduring commitment to abstraction and fascination with imaging the cosmos.

In the 1970s, Pindell began sewing together strips of unstretched canvas in her paintings, which incorporated layered graph paper with other material supports. Her structural sutures offer

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