The New Social Environment#744

Revisiting 5+1

Featuring Howardena Pindell, Adger Cowans, Elise Armani, Amy Kahng, Gabriella Shypula, and Elizabeth Buhe, with Portlyn Harjo


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artist Howardena Pindell, photographer Adger Cowans, and curators Elise Armani, Amy Kahng, and Gabriella Shypula join Rail contributor Elizabeth Buhe for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Portlyn Harjo.

In this talk

Visit Revisiting 5 + 1, on view at Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery through March 31, 2023 →

Stony Brook University Logo

We thank Stony Brook University and the Pollock-Krasner House for their generous partnership to help make this event possible.

Howardena Pindell

Photo of Howardena Pindell
Photo by Nathan Keay
Born in Philadelphia in 1943, Howardena Pindell studied painting at Boston University and Yale University. In 1979, she began teaching at the State University of New York, Stony Brook where she is now a full professor. Throughout her career, Pindell has exhibited extensively. Notable solo-exhibitions include: Just Above Midtown (1977, NY), The Studio Museum in Harlem (1986, NY), Garth Greenan Gallery, New York (2014), and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta (2015). Pindell often employs lengthy, metaphorical processes of destruction/reconstruction. In her later, more politically charged work. Pindell reverts to thematic focuses in order to address social issues of homelessness, AIDs, war, genocide, sexism, xenophobia, and apartheid.

Adger Cowans

Black and white photo of Adger Cowans holding a camera
Adger Cowans (b. 1936) was one of the first African American students to earn a degree in Photography from Ohio University in 1958, and furthered his education at the School of Motion Picture Arts and School of Visual Arts in New York City. Following graduation, Cowans obtained a position assisting photographer Gordon Parks at LIFE Magazine. Cowans later served in the United States Navy in Virginia Beach, VA and continued to work as a photographer. Cowans also has a storied career in cinema as a film still photographer on over thirty Hollywood sets, and worked with directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Sidney Lumet, and Spike Lee.

Elise Armani

Photo of Elise Armani
Elise Armani is a curator and Ph.D. candidate in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University. Her dissertation examines immigrant artist networks on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1970s-80s, demonstrating how artistic practices were intertwined with the cultivation of community oriented spaces and resources in response to municipal and commercial divestment. She has contributed to projects at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, the Weisman Art Museum, and TANK Shanghai. She recently co-curated Revisiting 5+1 at the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, presented in partnership with the MFA Boston, and co-edited the accompanying catalog.

Amy Kahng

Photo of Amy Kahng
Amy Kahng is a PhD candidate in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University and a 2022-23 Patricia and Phillip Frost Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her dissertation project examines twentieth century Asian American artists and their relationship to land and landscape. Amy has contributed to projects at MoMA, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Kukje Gallery, and the Weisman Museum of Art. She curated exhibitions including Mis/Communication: Language and Power in Contemporary Art, Printing Solidarity: Tricontinental Graphics from Cuba, and durée. Amy recently co-curated Revisiting 5+1 at the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery and co-edited the accompanying catalog.

Gabriella Shypula

Photo of Gabriella Shypula
Gabriella Shypula is a curator and PhD Candidate in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University. Her dissertation examines New York-based women artists who explored the significance of their autobiography as a site for critical resistance against dominant art historical narratives in the 1970s–80s. Gabriella has worked on curatorial projects at SFMOMA, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and MoMA and has contributed to exhibitions including Joan Mitchell and Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done. She recently co-curated Revisiting 5+1 at the Zuccaire Gallery, presented in partnership with the MFA Boston, and co-edited the accompanying catalog.

Elizabeth Buhe

Black and white photo of Elizabeth Buhe
Elizabeth Buhe is a widely-published critic and art historian based in New York. Her writing addresses expanded modernisms and spatial ontologies in Europe and North America in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Elizabeth has taught at the Whitney Museum of American Art and at Fordham University, and is a contributing critic for the Brooklyn Rail and Studio International. Her scholarship has earned support from the Fulbright Program, the Luce Foundation, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Getty Research Institute, The Courtauld, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, among others. She is currently completing a book titled Beside Painting on abstract painting and perception.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Portlyn Houghton-Harjo reading.

Portlyn Houghton-Harjo

A photo of a person holding a book, their face hidden behind it
Portlyn Houghton-Harjo is a Mvskoke and Seminole writer from the elusive state of Oklahoma. Her work can be found in Beaver Magazine, Yellow Medicine Review, and The Creative Field Guide to Northeastern Oklahoma, among other publications. Harjo worships Bigfoot and the natural process of decay. She is currently based in Brooklyn.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.