Nell’s art and writing in the year of the Great Upheaval 2020
This page contains links to Nell Painter’s art, writing, and interviews produced during 2020.
Nell's op-ed piece in The New York Times: "It Shouldn’t Be This Close. But There’s Good News, Too. In the long lines of voters, I see hope." by Nell Irvin Painter, November 5, 2020 (The New York Times–Opinion)
Nell's video on NBC: Think—Opinion, Analysis, Essays “The complex history and an uncertain future of American whiteness” by Nell Irvin Painter, August 3, 2020.
Nell's piece in The New Yorker (Cultural Comment): “Seeing Police Brutality Then and Now” by Nell Irvin Painter, June 18, 2020. “We still haven’t fully recognized the art made by twentieth-century black artists.”
MacDowell—Nell Painter Appointed Chair of MacDowell Colony Board of Directors, January 2020. Nell is MacDowell’s new chairman of the board.
MacDowell awards more than 300 competitive Fellowships to artists working in seven disciplines each year. While at MacDowell, Fellows are provided a private studio, accommodations, and three meals a day for a period of up to eight weeks. Nell is a two-time MacDowell Fellow (2016, 2019). Here is a link to Nell's Artist page at MacDowell’s website. Also on MacDowell’s website, here is Nell's essay “At MacDowell with James Baldwin, to Stop and Do Nothing In Order to Start Anew.”
(Since Nell's appointment, MacDowell dropped the word "colony" from its name to continue efforts to eliminate barriers to participation.)
Nell is interviewed by Lauren O'Neill-Butler for the on-line publication November, "Nell Painter— In conversation with Lauren O'Neill-Butler," November Magazine, No. 5. The interview took place September 2020. (novembermag.com is a publication of interviews with thinkers about art, politics, media, architecture, and philosophy).
Nell's opinion piece in The Washington Post: “Why 'White' should be capitalized, too” by Nell Irvin Painter, July 22, 2020. “Let’s talk about that lowercase 'white.' ” [This piece appeared in The Washington Post print edition on July 23, 2020.]
Here is Nell's unedited longer version (as a pdf), before it was cut to fit into The Post's opinion section.
Nell participates in an on-line web chat: Hyphenings — Blind Date No. 5 — Nell Irvin Painter & Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, “Negotiating identities” May 26, 2020. Nell is webchatting with Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed (Algeria/France), Dr. in social sciences (theology sociology neuropsychology) and imam (gender minorities liberation). Their topics include: identity tools, summer people, race and racism, white supremacy, stereotypes, religion, beauty, norms, homosexuality, inclusive mosques, community, imams, faith, science, activist frontlines, engaged art vs. art for art’s sake, Marseille, (in)visibility, (de)colonization. Hyphenings is an international video project connecting writers, thinkers, and artists. In the “blind date” series, guests are not told anything about each other, just invited into a video chat and the curators record what happens.
Nell is interviewed in the Boston Review: "The Historian’s Art", Jonathan M. Square, Walter Johnson, Nell Painter.
Jonathan M. Square, the curator of Nell's 2 recent exhibits at Harvard University, introduces the conversation between Nell and Walter Johnson (Harvard historian and Nell’s former student). (Posted January 6, 2020.)
Nell's artist book American Whiteness Since Trump is on display at James Fuentes Online gallery. This series of 28 pieces (ink, graphite, and collage on paper) was created while Painter was in residence at the Bogliasco Foundation, Italy in February–March 2020.
Nell's opinion piece in NBC online news (nbcnews.com) (Think/Thought Experiment): “White identity in America is ideology, not biology. The history of 'whiteness' proves it.” by Nell Irvin Painter, June 27, 2020.
“The idea of one big white race did not just spring to life full-blown and unchanging, which is what most people assume — and white supremacists rely on.”
Nell is interviewed as part of a podcast on NPR's "Invisabilia" series: "White v. White?" March 27, 2020. The podcast's subject is "A city council candidate says he's black. But his opponent accuses him of being a white man pretending to be black." Nell discusses race as a social construct, the meanings which change over time.
From Slavery to Freedom, 2020: a series of 15 drawings. Ink and collage on paper, digitally manipulated, a series of 15 drawings each 8.5" x 5.5", commissioned by Emma Wilcox for Aferro Gallery in Newark.
Nell has an essay in the Paris Review (Arts & Culture): “On Horseback” by Nell Painter, June 19, 2020. A personal essay on black horseback riders in Black Lives Matter protests, the history of black cowboys, and her own personal history of horseback riding as a girl with her father in California.
My Coronavirus Occupation—Nell's essay on making art and writing during the coronavirus.
“Coronavirus came to occupy my art in Fondazione Bogliasco’s villa above the Ligurian Sea where I was in an artist’s residency between mid-February and mid-March of this year.”