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Grant number like: FT-270341-20

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FT-270341-20

Sarah Louise Cowan
DePauw University (Greencastle, IN 46135-1736)
Mending Abstraction: The Work of African-American Artist Howardena Pindell (1943- )

Writing of the first book-length study of African-American curator and artist Howardena Pindell (b. 1943).

“Mending Abstraction,” examines how visual artist, activist, curator, and writer Howardena Pindell (b. 1943) confronted expectations of the 1960s and 1970s that African American artists represent themselves in their art in a literal way. I argue that Pindell investigated how questions about racial and gender difference have haunted American modernist visual art in her largely abstract practice. Through her use of handicraft and metaphors drawn from black feminist theory, she sought to “mend” abstraction, making it useful to her as an artist who had experienced de facto exclusion from the category “modernist.” The first scholarly monograph on Pindell’s groundbreaking career, this project enriches humanistic understanding of twentieth-century American culture, especially process-oriented art, by showing how artists of color have been active agents in remaking its terms.

Project fields:
African American Studies; Art History and Criticism; Gender Studies

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/18/2020 – 7/17/2020