Fellow: Awarded 2017
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Jefferson Pinder’s work provokes commentary about race and struggle. Focusing primarily with neon, found objects, and video, Pinder investigates identity through the most dynamic circumstances and materials. Through his meditative exploration of light and sound, or his intensely grueling corporeal performances, he delves into conversations about race. His physical performance are threads to examine history, cultural appropriation, and portrayals of exertion and labor. Creating collaged audio clips and surreal performances, he under-scores themes dealing with Afro-Futurism and endurance. Most recently, Pinder has traveled to Iowa to address social issues dealing with being a minority in the mid-west. Practicing performance techniques from Augusta Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, he has provided opportunities for underrepresented voices to be heard.
Pinder has been featured in numerous group and solo shows including exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, Netherlands, The Tate Modern in the UK, The Phillips Collection, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Recently, Pinder was exhibited at the 2016 Shanghai Biennale, and at the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. In November, he was awarded the 2016 USA Joyce Fellowship Award in the field of performance. He also is the recipient of the 2017 Moving Image Acquisition award. Pinder resides in Chicago where he is a Professor in the Sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.