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Still from ‘Free/White/21’ (1980). Courtesy the artist, Garth Greenan Gallery and Victoria Miro.

Howardena Pindell: A New Language

2 July 2022 – 30 October 2022, 11am – 5pm

This event has passed. Free

Kettle’s Yard was pleased to present Howardena Pindell: A New Language, the artist’s first solo institutional exhibition in the UK. The exhibition came to Kettle’s Yard from Fruitmarket, Edinburgh before travelling to Spike Island, Bristol. The exhibition brought together work from Pindell’s six decade long career including paintings, works on paper and video. The exhibition tracked the development of Pindell’s artistic language, and examined her work as exemplary in articulating empowerment.

A New Language was organised by the Fruitmarket, Edinburgh in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and Spike Island, Bristol




A jaw dropping show…Everything that’s beautiful about American art is in Howardena Pindell’s abstract canvases from the 1970s. And all that is ugly in America is laid bare by her 2020 video Rope/Fire/Water.

Read the full review



Unmissable exhibition…Tragedy, horror and everyday racism are countered with fearless grace by the American artist in this five-decade retrospective.

Read the full review
Photo by Jo Underhill

Interview with Howardena Pindell

Watch this interview with exhibition artist Howardena Pindell and find out more about her life and practice.

This film shows a conversation between Pindell and Fruitmarket Director, Fiona Bradley, about the selection of works in Howardena Pindell: A New Language at the Fruitmarket. This talk includes discussion of racism, police brutality, enslavement, violence against Black and indigenous people and the murder of George Floyd.

About Howardena Pindell

Howardena Pindell (b.1943, Philadelphia, PA) works across painting and film. She is an activist, critic and teacher who spent over a decade working at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, as one of the institution’s first Black curators. Largely known for her monumentally scaled abstract canvases, Pindell has expanded the definition of what abstract painting can be through her inclusion of glitter, paper circles made from punched holes, and the layering of mixed media and scent. She rose to prominence through the late 1970s and early 1980s and had a major solo exhibition at the Studio Museum, Harlem in 1986.

Throughout her career Pindell has exhibited extensively. Notable solo and group exhibitions include: the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art; PS1, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Museum Brandhorst, Munich. In 2020, an exhibition of new work at The Shed, New York articulated Pindell’s response to racism and white supremacy against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and growing international outrage at anti-Black state violence in the US and elsewhere, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.


We are grateful for the support of the following:


Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Victoria Miro