Not since 2006, however, has Pindell’s recent work been displayed in a commercial setting. Seven of the artist’s large-scale abstract paintings will be on view, as well as a selection of intricately detailed collages, all created between 2014 and 2017. The exhibition opens in advance of Pindell’s upcoming retrospective, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (February 24–May 20, 2018), curated by Naomi Beckwith and Valerie Cassel Oliver.
The exhibition offers a detailed view of Pindell’s recent work, covering an innovative time for the artist in which, after a long hiatus, she reengaged with abstraction. In paintings such as Nautilus I (2014–2015) and Night Flight (2015–2016), Pindell continues a metaphorical process first begun in the mid-1970s. She deconstructs/reconstructs her work, cutting the canvas into complex “maze patterns” and sewing them back together, then building up the surface in elaborate stages: painting or drawing onto a sheet of paper, punching out dots from it, dropping them onto her canvas, and finally squeegeeing acrylic through the “stencil” left in the paper from which she had punched the dots. Recently, sequins, glitter, foam circles, vinyl text, powder, string, printed numbers, and even hair have become part of the artist’s labor-intensive, process-oriented approach to painting. As always, her constructed canvases are installed unstretched, held to the wall merely by the strength of a few finishing nails.