The painting is a contemporary take on Édouard Manet's 1863 painting entitled Le dejeuner sur l'herbe. “By portraying real women with their own unique history, beauty and background, I’m working to diversify the representations of black women in art.” Hyperfeminized and hyperpowerful, in disco-era fashions, some women lounge odalisque-like on couches, while others in modelesque poses stare directly at the camera.  She exposed Mickalene and her brother to art by enrolling them in after-school programs at the Newark Museum, and the Henry Street Settlement in New York. 1971, Camden, NJ; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) makes paintings, collages, photography, video, and installations that draw on art history and popular culture to create a contemporary vision of female sexuality, beauty, and power. Rhinestones accentuate specific elements of each painting, while subtly confronting our assumptions of what is feminine and what defines a woman, specifically black women. , Thomas's work is also distinctive in its foregrounding of queer identity; she is a queer woman of color representing women of color in a way that emphasizes their agency and erotic beauty. Mickalene Thomas explores and expands traditional notions of female identity and beauty through her rhinestone-encrusted depictions of African American women. ", MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach who originally commissioned the painting for the 53rd street window display explained that he requested Thomas largely because "her treatment of surfaces as complex layers of material, lacquer, rhinestone and paint corresponds with the libidinous nature of the contents she depicts. Thomas's queer identity is foregrounded, for example, in her painting and print edition entitled Sleep: Deux femmes noires (2012 and 2013), in which we see two female bodies intertwined in an embrace, on a sofa, thus highlighting for her audience the femininity, beauty, and sexuality of women lovers. On a back wall, you then see these photographs sliced up and rearranged in a series of collages. Oct 8, 2015 - This Pin was discovered by Ahna Serendren Morrey. Mickalene Thomas's work is held in many collections, including 21c Museum, Akron Art Museum, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Baltimore Museum of Art, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, International Center of Photography, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, New York Public Library, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Rubell Family Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Seattle Art Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Taschen Collection, Mikki and Stanley Weithorn Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art, West Collection, and Yale University Art Gallery. Mickalene Thomas has a wonderful eye for texture and color and a razor-sharp sense of humor. Landers, Sean. Collage matters right now—at least according to the Volta NY special exhibition curators, artist Mickalene Thomas and collector and consultant Racquel Chevremont. The majority of critical responses to Le déjeuner sur l'herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noires address the piece's interaction with post-black and post-feminist ideas. Rosenberg, Karen. "Mickalene Thomas." Brooklyn artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate, collage-inspired paintings, embellished with rhinestones, enamel, and colorful acrylics. Mickalene Thomas (born January 28, 1971) is a contemporary African-American visual artist best known as a painter of complex works using rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel. Inhabiting the '70s-style genre of Blaxploitation, the subjects in Thomas's paintings and collages radiate sexuality, which has been interpreted by some as satire of misogynistic and racist tropes in media, including films and music associated with the Blaxploitation genre. During her early career, she found herself immersed in the growing culture of DIY artists and musicians, leading her to start her own body of work.  This collage now hangs in the lobby of the P.S.1, an extension of the MoMA in Queens that houses unconventional contemporary artwork. Mickalene noted that when she became an artist, fashion was always "in the back of my mind" as a source of inspiration. New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her richly textured, rhinestone-encrusted paintings of African-American women and bright, collaged interiors. , Thomas's subjects are virtually always women of color; a means to portray and empower the women and celebrate their culture and beauty—sometimes by incorporating them into iconic Western paintings. Hung around the gallery’s perimeter are Thomas’s large-scale photographs of her black female muses, including herself and her mother, whom she began photographing as an MFA student at Yale, as well as friends and lovers. Founded in 2009, Hyperallergic is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Thomas’s jazzy photomontages of women’s limbs and facial features can be construed as commentary on how female bodies are brutally picked apart in contemporary visual culture.  Paying homage to Matisse by using his sculpture as a figure in her piece is not anomalous for Thomas as she often includes allusions to the iconic artist in her works. Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today. Her works, in particular the Odalisque series (2007), have been interpreted as "investigating the artist-model relationship [...] but from an updated perspective of female inter-subjectivity and same-sex desire." “Previews: Mickalene Thomas: The Origin of the Universe.”, This page was last edited on 5 October 2020, at 17:52. Come be inspired with me by this awesome female collage artist, Mickalene Thomas. , In her 2017 solo exhibition "Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities" at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM), Thomas created multi-media installations that centered black women in the narrative-arcs of their own stories.  Thomas' mother raised her and her brother Buddhists. Thomas's collage work is inspired from popular art histories and movements, including Impressionism, Cubism, Dada and the Harlem Renaissance. Find an in-depth biography, exhibitions, original artworks for sale, the latest news, and sold auction prices. Her subjects often look directly at the viewer, challenging the dominance of the male gaze in art.  Many vintage patterns are used throughout the work.  Thomas's collage work is inspired from popular art histories and movements, including Impressionism, Cubism, Dada and the Harlem Renaissance. " Behind the women in both the photograph and the painting sits a Matisse sculpture that was situated behind the women in the sculpture garden. 116 (2011): 30-38. Sold for nearly $20,000. Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all. This show, the title of which references Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting L’Origine du monde, showcased a series of recent portraits, landscapes and interiors. Thomas received her BFA from Pratt Institute in 2000 and her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2002. Mickalene Thomas (b. " Weems’ work not only played a role in Mickalene Thomas’ decision to switch studies and apply to Pratt Institute in New York but to use her experience and turn it into art. Mickalene Thomas has a wonderful eye for texture and color and a razor-sharp sense of humor. Charged with organizing a group exhibition for the curated section of the Armory Show’s sister fair … As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever. Instead, the photos question art historical traditions of objectifying women: In “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe: les trois femmes noires,” a wry feminist pastiche on Manet’s notorious 1862 painting, one woman squints, her chin propped in her hand, assessing the viewer assessing her. Her subjects are often well-known women like Eartha Kitt, Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey, and Condoleezza Rice. Muse is a show that lays bare the artist’s process in a refreshingly nonlinear way.
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