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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

Art Review


Art Review
Summer 2012

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe
By: Ed Schad

Mickalene Thomas organises her exhibition of new works at the Santa Monica Museum of Art around erotic touchstones of art history, specifically Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World and The Sleepers (both 1866), and Marcel Duchamp’s Étant Donnés (1946–66). These infamous cases of voyeurism in art Thomas resets on her own terms by filtering them through her identity as a gay African American woman.

Entering the museum, the viewer confronts the keyhole of Thomas’s installation Take All the Time You Need (all works 2012). Here is the famous entry of Étant Donnés, only instead of a splayed female body one spies the funky enclave of a 1970s apartment, the type of place Pam Grier might occupy in one of her films. During the opening, a model did occupy Thomas’s space, and viewers could observe her without themselves being observed. The model was joined in the main space by large painted portraits of strong and assertive women, all exquisitely dressed and none of whom seem to suffer fools.

The ghosts of these women move and dwell in the show and charge its spaces with eroticism. The portraits, domestic interiors and landscapes cumulatively become a field of sexual potential, with the female sex, both its interior spaces and external manifestations, being the centre point. This centre is bluntly asserted twice: Courbet’s The Origin of the World is retooled once using Thomas’s own body articulated with black rhinestones, in Origin of the Universe 1, and then again in the last gallery using a white body with brown beads, in Origin of the Universe 2.

Though Origin of the World is the centre, Thomas’s version of The Sleepers, titled Sleep: Deux Femmes Noires, depicts the ultimate objective of the show: two female lovers finally locked together. A massive plane, the work is an assemblage of broken pieces, splintering the pictorial reality of an idyllic scene. Each crack in the surface is highlighted with punchy neon orange that binds the picture in a sort of web. Of similar ambition to Thomas’s breakout commission for MoMA in 2010, Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noires, Thomas’s Sleep is the exhibition’s final statement and the one depiction of consummation.

The conceptual rigour of the show, its linear and simple unfolding, is mimicked in the sharp lines and pristine surfaces of the works: impressive but intimidating rushes of colour, design swatches and attitude. Though the thematic content has the potential to be hot, bothered and open to anything, the paintings themselves are resistant, wearing a fashionable armour not unlike that of the models Thomas favours – women who exist somewhere behind a veneer of combative posturing.

There are no vulnerable access points, no imperfections, no personality clues in this heavily designed space. Even the occasional loose drip of paint on the canvas seems planned. One wonders what such works can really show about these women or the lives they lead. And that locked-down content, which can often seem stilted and stuffy, prevents Thomas from entering the sort of psychological depths that are needed to enrich the proceedings. They, the works and the women, are as inscrutable at the beginning as they are at the end.