The Shed to Reopen on October 16 with Solo Exhibition by Howardena Pindell

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • September 10, 2020

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The Shed under construction, as seen from the High Line, February 2019. Photo: Brett Beyer. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.

New York's The Shed debuted in April 2019 in a grand $475 million building in Hudson Yards. After being closed for over six months, this new arts center plans to reopen with a powerful presentation of works by Howardena Pindell.

The Shed has announced that it will reopen on Friday, October 16, with the new solo exhibition Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water, examining the violent, historical trauma of racism in America and the therapeutic power of artistic creation. After closing on March 13 in response to New York City’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, The Shed will welcome back visitors, Thursdays through Sundays, with enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as free admission to the exhibition through October 31.

Howardena Pindell
photo: Nathan Keay

“We are very honored to produce and present Howardena Pindell’s powerful and timely work as our reopening exhibition this fall, and to have commissioned her unrealized project of 50 years, Rope/Fire/Water. When we started planning an exhibition with Pindell in 2017, we could not have foreseen its resonance with this summer’s profound call to dismantle systemic racism and to establish equality for Black lives,” said Alex Poots, The Shed’s Artistic Director and CEO. “We’re so pleased to welcome our audiences and neighbors back to The Shed after closing our doors in March, less than a year after opening, and we’ve implemented thorough protocols to ensure a safe environment for all. As our city restarts, we continue in our commitment to supporting artists and providing a space where they can address the urgent issues of our time.”

Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water presents Pindell’s first video work in 25 years, as well as new large-scale paintings, and several abstract paintings from earlier in her career.

Over her nearly 60-year career, Pindell has created richly textured abstract paintings while engaging with politics and the social issues of her time. The powerful new video Rope/Fire/Water, commissioned by The Shed, is a work that Pindell has wanted to create since the 1970s, inspired by a traumatic experience in her youth when she saw a shocking image of racial violence.

Pindell also will also debut a pair of large-scale paintings related to global atrocities of imperialism and white supremacy, and several abstract paintings that demonstrate a through line in Pindell’s practice: after working on traumatic historical projects, the artist decompresses by creating meticulously produced, large-scale abstract works on unstretched canvas.

An online gallery of paintings in the exhibition with explanatory texts and a digital reading room of supplementary resources will be available online at Additional programs exploring themes of the exhibition will be announced.

Howardena Pindell, Plankton Lace #1 . Mixed media on canvas. 76 x 86 inches. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Tickets for Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water are $10 and available at or (646) 455-3494 beginning on October 1.

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