Dindga McCannon opens exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

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Dindga McCannon opens exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
Dindga McCannon, I Ain't Never Coming Back to the U.S.! Ever! to Bro. Yekk, 2016. Mixed media quilt, 44.5 x 54.6 cm, 17 1/2 x 21 1/2 in.

LONDON.- Pippy Houldsworth Gallery announced representation of Philadelphia-based artist Dindga McCannon (b. 1947), and is also presenting her first European solo exhibition from 11 October to 12 November 2022. The gallery looks forward to co-representing the artist with Fridman Gallery, New York.

McCannon’s practice explores multiple media including textiles, quilts, prints and sculpture, focusing on and celebrating the histories of Black women. Growing up in Harlem in the 1950s, McCannon started working in textiles, selling dashikis to fund her art making. As part of the burgeoning Harlem Renaissance movement she joined several activist groups in the early 1960s, leading her to join the pre-eminent Weusi Artist Collective, a group that supported and gave voice to African American artists, allowing them to express and exhibit their ideas freely. Together with Faith Ringgold and Kay Brown, McCannon later formed Where We At Black Women Artists Inc. collective, pioneering a new form of community-based arts education and providing resources to those in prisons, shelters and schools.

The exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery brings together a wide range of works from her 50-year career. One such piece, typical of McCannon’s fierce scrutiny of the inequality faced by Black women is Why Did it Take So Long? (Black Women in Aviation) (2012), commemorating the first time an all-female Black flight crew operated a commercial aircraft, occurring as late as 2009. Each of these women stares directly at the viewer, while beneath them hang a number of commemorative tags honouring those who have fought to reach this point.

In I Ain't Never Coming Back to the U.S.! Ever! to Bro. Yekk, (2016), McCannon tells the story of a former partner, a teacher who was assaulted by police when returning home one evening, pinned to the ground and racially abused. Following this ordeal, he emigrated to Mexico, never to return to the United States. 25 years later, this police violence against African Americans and other minority communities continues to be ever-present within America. McCannon further excavates the history of American oppression of Black communities by honouring the pioneering Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, women born into slavery who fought tirelessly for the abolitionist cause and basic human rights for their people. McCannon’s most recent painting in the show depicts them as monumental figureheads, protectors of future generations. As with all McCannon’s work, it is as fearless as those that she is honouring.

Dindga McCannon (b. 1947, New York City) lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. Current exhibitions include Afro–Atlantic Histories, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, travelling to Dallas Museum of Art, TX, and LACMA, CA. Recent exhibitions include In Plain Sight, Fridman Gallery, NY; We Wanted A Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-1985, Brooklyn Museum, NY, and travelling to California African Arts Museum, CA; Albright Knox Gallery, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA. Forthcoming exhibitions include Karma, New York and Zeitz MOCAA, South Africa. Collections include Brooklyn Museum, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; and Studio Museum in Harlem, NY.

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