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Florissant Valley Contemporary Art Gallery presents Pindell, Carter Exhibit

February 27, 2014

Carter artwork  
Nanette Carter's work titled "Aqueous"

St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley’s Contemporary Art Gallery presents “An Activist Voice: The Art of Howardena Pindell and Nanette Carter,” opening March 6 on campus, 3400 Pershall Road. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public. The exhibition runs through April 3.

Howardena Pindell is an artist, former museum curator, professor and writer. Pindell has been an activist most of her life. She was the first African-American associate curator of prints and illustrated books at the New York Museum of Modern Art. She also belonged to A.I.R., the first women’s artist coop in New York City.

In her early years, unlike many of her contemporaries, she found her voice in abstract forms.


According to Pindell, “I was invited by the white feminist community to join them, whereas the African-American community in general at the time was highly critical of abstract African American artists.”


Pindell is considered to be one of the leading pioneers whose abstract paintings helped reshape what painting is today.

Nanette Carter’s use of organic and fluid forms on one level reference nature, but at the same time these “scapes” allow her to use metaphor to suggest the political  both private and public.


According to Carter, “metaphorically scapes have allowed me to weave various political themes and concepts into the work.”

Carter considers herself to be a “Scapeologist,” a term she has coined for herself. Her abstractions reference all scapes: land, sea, sky, under water and outer space, paying homage to the mysteries of nature and human nature. For Carter, these ‘scapes  “are invented worlds that question the necessity of war and the horrors of injustice.”


Like Pindell, she is a storyteller, penning her own narrative through paint and collage.

Since 1997, Carter has worked exclusively with oils on frosted Mylar, which is a sheet of plastic developed by DuPont in the 1950s. The work included in this exhibition focus mostly on two bodies of work Aqueous and Bouquet for the Loving.

In the exhibition “An Activist Voice,” Pindell and Carter use abstract form to create an ever expanding vocabulary that allows for the political not to be apparent, but to be revealed just below the carefully constructed surface of paint and collage.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, Mich., and the Women’s Caucus for Art, New York, N.Y.

The Florissant Valley Contemporary Art Gallery is located in the Instructional Resources building, Room 111. For more information, call 314-513-4861. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m Saturday.