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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

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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

New York Observer

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


THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
April 26, 2010

A Window on Art
Paul Laster

At a lively party at the Modern restaurant earlier this spring, artist Mickalene Thomas looked in surprise at the artwork -her own installed in the window and declared what was happening a phenomenon. The fact that a flashy painting of three black women, who look like they just stepped out of a 1970S blaxploitation film, could be hanging in the West 53rd Street window of the Museum of Modern Art's eatery astonished the artist. "If I had been a young woman visiting New York 20 years ago and had seen an artwork like that, who knows what would have inspired my world as an artist," she said. Surrounded by well wishers like Senator Frank Lautenberg, museum directors Thelma Golden and Arnold Lehman and artists Glenn Ligon and Wangechi Mutu, she said, "It symbolizes a change, acceptance and new beginnings. "

Ms. Thomas' huge, sparkling, 1O-bY-24-foot painting came about last summer as a coordinated project of the museum and its restaurant. It was at the request of MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach, in part because of the sheer sex appeal of Ms. Thomas' paintings. "Her treatment of surfaces as complex layers of material, lacquer, rhinestone and paint corresponds with the libidinous nature of the content she depicts," he said. The director of P.S. 1, where a related Thomas work now hangs in the lobby, said he discovered her work while doing research for the 2005 Greater New York exhibition and has continued to follow her development since. Last summer, he asked her to undertake the wall-eating canvas for the window of the museum's restaurant, adjacent to its front door. "Klaus wanted me to do something that I hadn't previously done. He challenged me," said Ms. Thomas.

Known for her rich, detailed, emblematic portraits of bold black women that reference pop culture and art history, Ms. Thomas has been on something a meteoric ride ever since snagging an M.F.A. in painting from Yale in 2002. An artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2003 and featured in P.S.1'S Greater New York survey show of new talent in 2005, Ms. Thomas has since gained gallery representation in New York, with Lehmann Maupin; in Chicago; and in Los Angeles, and landed her works in major museum collections across the country, such as the Whitney's and the Guggenheim's.

Take the Brooklyn Museum's Thomas painting, for example, dubbed A Little Taste Outside of Love. They've had the massive 2007 portrait of a reclining female nude (reminiscent of Ingres' La Grande Odalisque) hanging for more than a year; it's strikingly painted with muted acrylics and shiny enamels and encrusted with glittering rhinestones. "It's one of the star attractions of the museum's contemporary galleries," said Brooklyn Museum curator of contemporary art Eugenie Tsai. "It's not just the work's 'bling' factor-almost off the meter-that makes visitor's whip out their iPhones and snap away," she said, "but also the witty and original restaging of a familiar painting."

Ms. Thomas' most public showcase, however, came when the Modern, Danny Meyer's upscale restaurant at MoMA, installed her largest painting to date, Le Dejeuner sur I'Herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noires, in the window, where it's on view 24/7 through December 2010. It depicts three women of color in a garden setting and riffs on Manet's iconic canvas Le dejeuner sur l'herbe, which translates to "Luncheon on the Grass." That painting was deemed shocking when it was first exhibited at Salon des Refuses in Paris in 1863. "Manet's painting generated tremendous controversy at the time, because of the two men and an undressed woman in casual conversation," said Ms. Thomas. "I wanted to insert three black women and switch the gaze of the original."

The artist did the work in stages, first as a photograph, then as a collage (which is the work on display at P.S.1), and then as a painting. Staging the photograph was a considerable undertaking. The shoot was done in the museum's sculpture garden last summer. Model Qusuquzah Muhammad described it as "going late into the night, while we waited for clearance, and exhausting, because of the long poses in low light."

When it was done, Mr. Biesenbach opted to exhibit the earlier collage version of the piece as a mural in the lobby of P.S.1. "We felt that 10 years after the MoMA and P.S.1 merger," Mr. Biesenbach said, "having an artwork that connects both the entrance of P.S.1 and the window at the Modern would be an appropriate image to reconnect, remember and re-imagine the journey it takes from one place to the other."