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gallery exhibition

Mickalene Thomas
Tête de Femme

June 26 – August 8, 2014
540 West 26th Street

MICKALENE THOMAS
Untitled #1, 2014
acrylic, oil paint, glitter, rhinestones, oil pastel, dry pastel, ...

MICKALENE THOMAS
Untitled #2, 2014
enamel, acrylic, oil paint, glitter, rhinestones, oil pastel, dry ...

MICKALENE THOMAS
Untitled #3, 2014
enamel, acrylic, oil paint, glitter, rhinestones, oil pastel, dry ...

MICKALENE THOMAS
Carla, 2014
enamel, acrylic, oil paint, glitter, rhinestones, oil pastel, graphite a...

Time Out New York

July 7, 2014

Mickalene Thomas: Tête de Femme
By: Paul Laster


Making a radical shift away from the landscape and interior scenes that dominated her 2012 solo show at this gallery, Thomas concentrates on women’s heads in her new mixed-media portraits. Based on playful collages that the artist made of her friends, the larger-than-life images capture faces through a Cubistic lens while also referencing such Pop Art legends as Warhol and Wesselmann. Rendered on wood panels with a combination of enamel, acrylic, oils, glitter, graphite and rhinestones, Thomas kicks her process up a notch by adding silkscreened elements to the mix.


Untitled #10 depicts a woman with one eye closed and the other substituted by a screen-printed flower from a Warhol painting. Her angular nose is formed from hundreds of rhinestones, and her lips have been smeared on with red oil stick. A vibrant palette of pink, green, yellow and blue shapes define the head’s form, which besides Cubism also alludes to Matisse, particularly his late cut-paper works.


Carla, the only titled work here, portrays Lehmann Maupin partner Carla Camacho floating on a field of hard-edge, colorful shapes and gestural flourishes, while Untitled #8, the only diptych in the show, has almost a Basquiat feel to it. Multilayered with all of the artist’s new techniques in play, it epitomizes what Thomas so eloquently adds to the genre of portraiture.