You could say reconstruction is crucial to Pindell’s experience. In 1979—the same year she started teaching at Stony Brook—the artist was involved in a serious car accident. “We were in a VW Bug,” she recalled. “And one of the wives of the head of the Staller Center, which is where the Stony Brook art department is, was driving a big car and was on back medication. She drove against her light, crossed the median strip, and hit oncoming traffic.”
Pindell suffered a concussion; fortunately, she explained, “a friend made a very thick wool hat, so I didn’t break my skull.” It’s still an issue, though, sometimes causing her headaches.
To come to terms with the accident, Pindell shifted her artistic focus. She started featuring more autobiographical elements in her work; she began tracing her body, creating cut-outs that she then added to her larger paintings. Her series “Memory Test and Autobiography” was designed not only to promote physical healing, but to encourage self-discovery. She would cut and mend her canvases, fill them with personal mementos, and play with the concepts of evolution and repair.