Thomas, Mickalene
Born 1971 in Camden, USA
Lives and works in New York, USA
Mickalene Thomas sublimates a contemporary vision of the African American woman, which she re-contextualises in staged domestic scenes recalling the visual vocabulary of the ‘60s and ‘70s. She sets the stage, an environment of paintings, photographs and collages consisting of skilful juxtapositions and materials cleverly gleaned from the Baroque and Rococo, evoking both the ancestry of the models and portraits by 19th century painters such as Ingres, Courbet and Manet, as well as the rise of 20th century painting: Picasso and Matisse at the beginning of the 1900s and later David Hockney. Her work takes its place in the tradition of important African American artists like Romare Bearden or Jacob Lawrence, to whom she makes eloquent reference. Recent solo exhibitions of her works have been held at institutions such as the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2018); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2018); the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh (2018) and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2017).
Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Tiffona, 2008, Black and white photograph in custom-built wood frame, 26,7 x 29,2 x 4,4 cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP, Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels