In this work, Pindell adhered hundreds of dots punched out of brightly painted sheets of paper to painted supports, adding scraps of punched paper, painted nails, and even a plastic toy monkey. Not even the underlying grids, created with string, succeed in disciplining the chaotic, riotous sprawl.
Pindell was encouraged in her use of aggregation after traveling in 1973 and 1977 to Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal, where the technique was associated with both ritual and empowerment. She took the 1973 trip with Lowery Stokes Sims, then an assistant curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who purchased this work for its collection.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): H. Pindell, 1979-80; inscribed (lower right): #114 Memory Test: Free, White & Plastic
the artist, New York (until 1980; sold through Lerner-Heller Gallery, New York to MMA)
New York. Lerner-Heller Gallery. "Howardena Pindell: New Works on Paper and Canvas," April 5–30, 1980, no catalogue.
New York. City Gallery. "Made in New York," February 1–17, 1982, no catalogue.
Pleasantville, N. Y. Reader's Digest. "Faces and Figures: Selected Works by Black Artists from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 12–April 1, 1988, brochure no. 17.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980," September 13, 2017–January 14, 2018, no. 11.
Lowery S. Sims. Faces and Figures: Selected Works by Black Artists from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. brochure, Reader's Digest, Pleasantville, N.Y. 1988, unpaginated, no. 17.
Kelly Baum inDelirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950–1980. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. New York, 2017, pp. 42, 211, colorpl. 11.
Artist: Howardena Pindell (American, born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1943) Date: 1977Medium: Cut and pasted and painted punched paper, acrylic, watercolor, thread, mat board, sprayed adhesive, and string on paperAccession: 1978.185.1On view in:Not on view