art · culture

Howardena Pindell’s “What Remains to Be Seen” at VMFA

A few months ago, I went to a special event at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, announcing an upcoming exhibition. That exhibition was a retrospective of the creative career of Howardena Pindell, multimedia artist, activist and professor. “What Remains to be Seen” is an impressive ouevre that showcases Pindell’s evolution as an artist, and is broken down into the different phases of her life and creative journey.

Today (November 25) is the last day to see the works, so I’m heading to the museum shortly so I can enjoy them one last time before they leave. However, I’ve got a few pictures for you all in this post, some additional commentary (of course LOL!) as well as a YouTube video of Pindell’s most famous short, “Free, White and 21”. Enjoy!

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Howardena Pindell

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Pindell’s use of grids and numbers created some of her most riveting work. I love seeing how she turns numbers and otherwise sterile, math-related tools and objects, into art.

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The 3-d grid below is a good example of the blend of art and math. It’s probably one of my favorite works by her.

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The tiny individual circles affixed to many of Pindell’s pieces reveal her love of mathematic perfection reinterpreted. These pieces, attached to the grids she loved to work with, were occasionally numbered individually.

Like many artists, Pindell sought to promote cultural shifts through activism. Her works also featured socio-political themes that were near and dear to her.

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One of my favorite themes explored by Pindell was that of science. Closely related to her mathematics fascination, her interpretation of natural phenomenon and wonders created some of her most aesthetically charming works (though, to be honest, I love all of her work and find it all aesthetically pleasing). I especially loved “Nautilus” and “Night Flight” (pictures are below).

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Finally, here is “Free, White and 21”, Pindell’s video experiment where she aims to repair her memory loss (caused by a serious car accident) by recalling memories from earlier in her life.

art · life curation

Art Synchronicities

 

When I went to the National Portrait Gallery to view the Marlene Dietrich exhibit (you can read all about it here), I got a bit of a surprise. While walking around and trying to find Marlene, I came across a painting that stopped me in my tracks. You can see the painting below:

This painting is the very same one that was my most likely doppelganger, per the Google Arts & Culture app (you know, that app that I wrote about a while ago). Of course, on the app, the painting is listed as being at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. However, it is currently at the National Portrait Gallery, as part of The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers exhibit. I’m pretty sure that the painting will return to the High Museum in September, when the exhibit draws to a close.

I examined the painting and found myself smiling. The vivid colors can’t be captured via camera: it must be experienced in person. The focused gaze, the high cheekbones, and the richly hued skin did, oddly enough, remind me of myself. Of all of the paintings to make it to this exhibit, this one made the cut. And of all of the museums I could visit in DC (and there are PLENTY), I ended up at the National Portrait Gallery. And this painting had an entire wall to itself, so I couldn’t miss it as I walked to the Dietrich exhibit. I figure it was meant for me to see it. Oh yes, and here is the photo that convinced Google Arts & Culture that I am Alma’s incarnate:

I’m delighted that I got to see this painting: as always, art is best experienced in person. This is one of several portraits depicting the working class in the first half of the 20th century. I encourage you all to go and experience the exhibit for yourself, if you have the chance!

culture

Women’s History Month in Washington, DC

As many of you know, I work (and play) in Washington, DC. Since I’m in the District several times a week, I try to explore and take in the city as much as possible during my breaks and (occasionally) after work. Out of curiosity, I looked up what is happening in DC during Women’s History Month (WHM), happening right now, until the end of March. I’m happy to say that DC didn’t disappoint, with several museums and other institutions hosting WHM events for the public.

You can find a list of events on the Women’s History Month website (click here for more information). I’m really eager to go to the Library of Congress, to view the exhibition, Drawn to Purpose, which puts the spotlight on women illustrators and cartoonists. Even if you can’t make it in person, you can view the exhibit online. I’m also excited to see Michelle Obama’s portrait over at the National Portrait Gallery.

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Anita Kunz’s Tugged is one of the photos featured on the main page of the Drawn to Purpose exhibition at the Library of Congress

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The portrait of Michelle Obama, painted by Amy Sherald, is a popular new addition at the National Portrait Gallery

Now, on this blog, WHM is EVERY month. But I love that DC has so many events that reflect the month’s theme. I’m looking forward to sharing all of the photos with you as I tour around and have a good time in DC!