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Kyoto: Positive/Negative

Howardena Pindell

Contemporary Art

Inspired by the Black Power movement and active as a feminist in the New York art world in the 1970s and 1980s, Howardena Pindell favored a craft-inspired aesthetic. Her choice of materials aligned with her commitment to political activism. She was particularly dedicated to fighting the censorship of Black artists that she experienced in the art world as both an artist and a curator.

Reflecting her conceptual and material interest in print- and paper-making, Kyoto: Positive/Negative incorporates personal references into abstract forms inspired by a variety of sources, from scrap paper in her studio to the beads, horns, shells, and hair she studied in African sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum. The use of rice paper here alludes to the artist’s first trip to Japan in 1979, accompanied by her father, with the speckle of vectors and numerical repetition perhaps alluding to his profession as a mathematician.
MEDIUM Lithograph, etching, aquatint, and collage with chine colle on paper
DATES June 1980
DIMENSIONS sheet: 26 1/4 x 20 1/2 in. (66.7 x 52.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right, in pencil: "H. Pindell 6/80"
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed lower left, in pencil: "Trial Proof III"
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Howardena Pindell (American, born 1943). Kyoto: Positive/Negative, June 1980. Lithograph, etching, aquatint, and collage with chine colle on paper, sheet: 26 1/4 x 20 1/2 in. (66.7 x 52.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, 85.48. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.48_PS11.jpg)
STATE Trial Proof III
IMAGE overall, 85.48_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2020
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © Howardena Pindell
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