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This exhibition examines painter and mixed media artist Howardena Pindell, whose work focuses on empowerment and developing an artistic language.

This is Howardena Pindell’s first solo exhibition in a public organisation in the UK, and has been inspired both by the title and the artist herself.

Writing in the 1980s, she described the overwhelming whiteness of exhibitions and the exclusion of artists of colour as all but tokens, and asserted: "I am an artist. I am not part of a so-called 'minority', 'new or 'emerging' or 'a new audience'. These are all terms used to demean, limit, and make people of colour appear to be powerless. We must evolve a new language which empowers us and does not cause us to participate in our own disenfranchisement."

Pindell has made beautiful, abstract paintings by spraying paint through a hand-made, hole-punched stencil. Her work is intricate and complex, layered paint, collaged paper circles, thread, glitter, powder and sequins all come together in her painting.

Featured works explores powerful themes of war, apartheid, police violence, the AIDS crisis, slavery and the environment. Her works on paper play with the tropes of lists, tallies, graphs and grids. And her two videos, Free White and 21 (1980) and Rope/Fire/Water (2020), confront racism head on.

The exhibition brings together a significant selection of her work, and does its best to celebrate and communicate her vision, in the hope that we might all be able to respond to her urgent call for change.

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ScotlandEdinburghContemporary artPainting


45 Market Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH1 1DF

0131 2252383


Opening times

Open seven days, all year round

Gallery spaces

Open Daily 11am–6pm

Café and Bookshop

Open Daily 10am–6pm

No booking required, all exhibtions are free.

Social distancing is required throughout the Fruitmarket so please keep a 1 metre distance from others and wear a face covering, unless exempt. This is for everyone’s safety and the Fruitmarket is happy to provide face coverings to you when you arrive.

When you arrive you will need to submit your details to Check in Scotland or provide details in person.

Please follow the latest Scottish Government rules on meeting others and travel. Please stay at home if you feel unwell.

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