The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, August 23, 2014


First major solo museum exhibition for highly acclaimed multi-media artist Mickalene Thomas opens
Mickalene Thomas, Landscape with Tree, 2012. Rhinestones, acrylic, oil, and enamel on wood panel, 100 x 90 x 2 inches. Collection of Silvia and Jorge Torres, Puerto Rico. Courtesy of the Artist, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects© Mickalene Thomas, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo: Christopher Burke Studio.
SANTA MONICA, CA.- The Santa Monica Museum of Art presents Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe, the first major solo museum exhibition for this highly acclaimed multi-media artist. Best known for her elaborate paintings of African American women against the backdrop of décor recalled from her childhood, Thomas has created an all-new suite of works that introduce a new model of trans-generational female empowerment as she explores interior and exterior environments in relation to the female figure. The exhibition opened at SMMoA on April 14, 2012 and continues through August 19, 2012. It will then travel to the Brooklyn Museum for display from September 28, 2012 to January 20, 2013.

Thomas is best known for her bold enamel, oil and acrylic paintings adorned with rhinestones, glitter, and “bling.” Her subjects seem to have stepped directly from a 1970s Blaxploitation film, yet Thomas’s influences extend far beyond. Her oeuvre stems from her long study of art history and the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life. Thomas’s layered facture process begins with a photographic portrait that is translated into a collage, and ultimately re-envisioned as a painting. Her imagery comprises careful borrowings from art history and from contemporary popular culture.

For Origin of the Universe, Thomas examines art historical constructs of feminine identity, sexuality, beauty, and power in 15 new paintings in a variety of sizes, shapes, and media, and one photograph. Taking cues from Marcel Duchamp’s Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau, 2° le gaz d'éclairage (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas) and Gustave Courbet’s L'Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World), Thomas presents the female figure as the origin of the universe, focusing on how the female body both engenders and inhabits landscape. The works on view are in communication with one another—portraits of Qusuquzah and Din gaze out at modernist interiors and plein-air landscapes, all confronted by the artist’s arresting recreations of Courbet’s Origin.

In nineteenth-century visual culture, black female sexuality functioned as something to be rejected or disparaged, but Thomas reconfigures these historical tropes into contemporary statements of empowerment. By casting African American women as the “heroines” of her works, she makes a profound statement regarding gender and racial identity. Thomas’s dialogue with Courbet and Duchamp is a strong reclamation of history, reasserting the subjective nature of beauty. In addition to her paintings and photograph, she will create an installation in SMMoA’s Project Room 2, to reinvent Étant donnés, where the “peep show” reveals the true surprise of a 70s-style paneled interior in the place of Duchamp’s splayed female body.

Mickalene Thomas was born in 1971 and lives and works in New York. She earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute and a Master’s of Fine Arts from Yale University. Thomas has participated in residency programs at the Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program, Giverny, France, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, and MoMA PS1, New York, and is included in the important collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts Boston; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe is organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art; SMMoA Deputy Director Lisa Melandri is the exhibition curator.



Today's News

April 18, 2012

Moderna Museet evacuated after bomb threat; racist cake exhibit might be related

The Brooklyn Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art marks 5th anniversary

Richard Avedon's Nastassia Kinski and the Serpent expected to bring $50,000+ at Heritage Auctions

Kunsthaus Zürich presents first-ever joint exhibition of restored sculptures by Aristide Maillol and Auguste Rodin

One of the most outstanding masters of contemporary art photography in Italy exhibits at Rosphoto

Christie's presents the private collection from the home of the late Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor

Double premiere at Museo de Arte de Ponce with the exhibitions by Luis Camnitzer and Emilio Sanchez

Material Culture's May 5 auction debut to reflect 'borderless' approach to art, antiques

Space shuttle Discovery takes a few victory laps before it is shown at the National Air and Space Museum

Solo Chicago show for artist Rashid Johnson at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Rising Dragon: Contemporary Chinese photography on view at the Katonah Museum of Art

Exhibition of new works by British artist Jamie Shovlin opens at Haunch of Venison in London

First major solo museum exhibition for highly acclaimed multi-media artist Mickalene Thomas opens

Joslyn Art Museum welcomes New Curator of Contemporary Art

Christie's and Mealy's of Kilkenny announce the two-part sale of property from Mount Congreve

Sam Jury wins first prize in To Extremes: Public Art in a Changing World Competition

$412 check that bought Superman sold for $160,000

Ticket to Titanic maiden voyage sold at NY auction

The Importance of Being Earnest dedicated by Oscar Wilde to his friend and lover Robbie Ross

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece

2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel

3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site