Howardena Pindell (American, born 1943)
8 x 10 in. (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund, 2018.7. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York
Artist Howardena Pindell began experiment with video technologies, turning to television and acetate in her studio. This experimentation also marked a transition in her practice, moving from abstraction to more personal and political works. Video Drawings, a series she returned to over two decades, showcased television programming ranging from sports to political speeches. Pindell superimposed drawn vectors, numbers, and dots on these TV scenes, photographing them at slow speeds to blur the video image. The presence of small ink circles in this work suggests the motion of the tennis ball, but also appropriates the dots she recalls encountering as a child in Southern restaurants on plates reserved for Black customers. The subject of tennis was hardly a neutral choice, representing at the time a physical and symbolic site where gender norms and racial stereotypes were contested by tennis stars like Althea Gibson, Billie Jean King, and Arthur Ashe.