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Gallery Exhibitions

Museum Exhibitions & Projects

Museum Exhibition

L'Ecole des Beaux Art...
Mickalene Thomas: Femme au divan II

July 5 – August 31, 2014

museum exhibition

George Eastman House
Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman

June 20 – October 19, 2014

Artist Project

Mickalene Thomas
Decópolis: The Talent of Others

February 6 - 24, 2013
The Proposition, New York

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Artist Bio

Mickalene Thomas

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Ocula

December 20, 2016

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Artomity

December 15, 2016

News

What Happens When Artists Take Over an Upper East Side Mansion W Magazine

April 5 2016

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Mickalene Thomas on Muses, Models, and Mentors Interview Magazine

March 10 2016

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‘Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs’ and ‘Tête-à-Tête’What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week New York Times

February 11 2016

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Mickalene Thomas on Her Photographic Muses Vogue

February 6 2016

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Kindred spirits: Mickalene Thomas' collaborative photography at Aperture Wallpaper* Magazine

February 2 2016

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In Mickalene Thomas’s awe-inspiring portraits, a meaningful reflection of black women in art New York Times

January 29 2016

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Tour Mickalene Thomas's Brooklyn Townhouse Vogue

January 6 2016

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Panel Discussion including Mickalene Thomas Art Basel Miami Beach 2015

December 3 2015

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Mickalene Thomas Receives 2015 United States Artist Fellowship Award

November 10 2015

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Beautiful Photos Of Women Take On Stereotypes Through High Art Refinery29

November 4 2015

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The New York Times

July 18, 2014

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Time Out New York

July 7, 2014

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Interview Magazine

June 26, 2014

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Huffington Post

June 26, 2014

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New York Observer / Gallerist NY

June 20, 2014

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American Art

Spring 2014

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Vogue

February 17, 2014

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The New York Times

June 14, 2013

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Phaidon

June 13, 2013

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Whitewall

June 12, 2013

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Artspace

June 7, 2013

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Wallpaper* Brooklyn queen of bling Mickalene Thomas bedazzles with her rhinestone-studded canvases

June 2013

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ARTnews

April 2013

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Opening Ceremony

March 20, 2013

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Artforum

February 14, 2013

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ICA Boston Mickalene Thomas

December 12, 2012 - April 7, 2013

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ANP Quarterly

Vol 2 / No 7

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The Wall Street Journal

November 23, 2012

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The New Yorker

November 12, 2012

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Financial Times Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe, Brooklyn Museum, New York

November 7, 2012

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The New York Observer

November 5, 2012

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Artforum

November 2012

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Modern Painters

October 2012

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Brooklyn Museum, NY Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe

28 September – 20 January 2012

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The New York Times

September 28, 2012

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The Wall Street Journal

September 27, 2012

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The Wall Street Journal

September 24, 2012

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The New York Times

September 21, 2012

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Time Out New York

September 13-19, 2012

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W Magazine

September 2012

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Vogue

September 2012

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New York Magazine

August 27, 2012

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Art Review

May 31, 2012

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Artinfo

May 15, 2012

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Huffington Post

April 25, 2012

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Los Angeles Times

April 21, 2012

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The New York Times

March 30, 2012

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Artforum

December 31, 2011

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Artforum

December 1, 2011

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Velvet Magazine

October 31, 2011

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The New York Times

October 20, 2011

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Loop 21

October 18, 2011

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The New Yorker

October 7, 2011

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The Village Voice

October 5, 2011

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Photograph Magazine

October 5, 2011

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Whitewall

September 29, 2011

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Artinfo

September 26, 2011

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Arude

September 13, 2011

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Modern Painters

August 31, 2011

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Paper

August 31, 2011

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Bomb

May 31, 2011

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Bomb Video Mickalene Thomas: Behind the Scenes

Summer 2011

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Life and Times

May 23, 2011

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Art in America

February 17, 2011

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Artnews

December 31, 2010

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NBC Washington

August 22, 2010

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A Sky Filled With Shooting Stars

July 29, 2010

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V Magazine In The Flesh

April 30, 2010

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New York Observer A Window on Art: Mickalene Thomas' Shiny Sex-Appeal Paintings

April 26, 2010

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Weltkunst

January 31, 2010

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NY Arts

August 31, 2009

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Time Out New York

April 23, 2009

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Artforum

April 20, 2009

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The New York Times

April 12, 2009

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Nylon

March 31, 2009

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Art + Auction In the Studio

February 28, 2009

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Bomb Number 107 / Spring 2009

February 28, 2009

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Wynwood

November 30, 2008

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Wound Issue 4 / Autumn 2008

September 30, 2008

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Trace

March 31, 2008

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Whitewall

December 31, 2007

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Modern Painters

November 30, 2007

Huffington Post


Huffington Post
March 25, 2012

The Vagina Dialogues
By Edward Goldman

The way many of us dread the prospect of going to 25-year school reunion is exactly how some artists feel about facing their own retrospective, where they will be confronted with all their artworks they haven't seen for years. It's emotional; it's unsettling; it's unnerving. So one can understand the reluctance of well known, Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas to say "yes" when Santa Monica Museum offered her a mid-career retrospective.

Instead, she embarked on an impressive, if near-impossible task of creating -- in just one year -- about a dozen ambitious new paintings, varying in size from large to monumental. Her portraits, landscapes, nudes and interiors grab your eye with their bold colors and in-your-face use of glitter and rhinestones. Mickalene Thomas is not too shy to use herself and her friends either for formal portraits or daring displays of their own naked young bodies.

Some of these new works, especially her semi-abstract landscapes and interiors, not only grabbed but held my attention long after I left the museum. But her nudes -- where, in my opinion, she gets too close for comfort to great painters of the past -- are a quite different story...

It takes courage and a lot of talent to take on the iconic artworks of a famous master. And when Mickalene Thomas decided to go head to head with the famously infamous masterpiece by 19th-century French painter Gustave Courbet, Origin of the World, depicting a close-up of the female vagina, she lost her battle. Knowing that the artist proudly embraces her identity as a black, gay woman, one understands the cultural implications of this artistic gesture. But even if you look at reproductions of Courbet's painting, belonging to the Musee d'Orsay, you will see how little Thomas has to say or add to the dialogue, other than substituting black nudity for Courbet's white nudity.

And the same goes for her other painting, the biggest one in her exhibition, Sleep: Deux Femmes Noires, with its direct quotation of a Courbet painting depicting two voluptuous nude white women embraced in their sleep. Thomas shows, instead, a black woman embracing her yellow-skinned companion, their realistically depicted bodies superimposed over vast landscape depicted in a rather abstract fashion.

Maybe, if the artist had the luxury of more time, her conversation with Courbet would have been more intriguing. But as it is, I felt sorry seeing her falling short of having meaningful dialogue with art of the past.

Only a few months ago, reporting on my trip to Barcelona, I talked about famous Spanish artist Anthoni Tàpies, who mustered enough chutzpah and wit to go mano a mano with Courbet's Origin of the World. He totally, in my opinion, rose to the occasion, by smartly referring to, rather than mimicking, the original image.

And the same goes for Anselm Kiefer when he was asked to do the impossible: to have a dialogue with the Rembrandt's most famous painting, The Night Watch, at the Rijksmuseum. He knew better than to directly quote the great master. Instead, he created an installation made of several dried-out sunflowers, evoking the spirit of Van Gogh, another great Dutch artist, who happened to be one of the first visitors to the Rijksmuseum when it opened to the public in the late 19th century.

The career of any artist of distinction is always full of battles, many of them won, some of them inevitably lost. I would like to know what you think of this exhibition of Mickalene Thomas and her risky dialogue with Big Boys of art's past.