Mickalene Thomas - Lévy Gorvy

Mickalene Thomas

Mickalene Thomas

Mickalene Thomas (b. 1971 Camden, NJ; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) is a distinguished visual artist, filmmaker and curator best known for her paintings, collages, photographs, videos, performance and large-scale installations that draw on and critique art history and popular culture to offer a more complex representation of femininity, sexuality, desire, and power. Blurring the distinction between abstraction and figuration, object and subject, the real and the imaginary, Thomas constructs portraits, landscapes, and interiors that subvert notions of beauty and examine how identity, gender, and subjectivity have been informed by the fetisization of the female body throughout history. The artist’s enduring use of collage, as a medium, method of abstraction, and conceptual form, has permeated every facet of her practice. By repurposing and recontextualizing found images from the artist’s own archive, social propaganda, pop culture, and history, Thomas creates compositions with formal and narrative depth that engage alternative, more active modes of looking and offer a new visual language.

In 2019, Thomas was the first to receive the Meyerhoff-Becker Biennial Commission at Baltimore Museum and was a United States Artists Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz Fellow in 2015. Thomas holds a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. Her most notable  solo exhibitions include Better Nights, Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2019); Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2018) and Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (2019); I Can’t See You Without Me, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2018), MUSE traveling exhibition with Aperture Foundation (2015-2019), Mickalene Thomas: Do I Look Like a Lady? Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2017); Waiting on a Prime Time Star, Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, TX and Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans (2017); Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses and Celebrities, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2017); and  Origin of the Universe  Brooklyn Museum (2012). Additional solo exhibitions have been organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; and L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Monaco. Select Notable group exhibitions include, “Posing Modernity,” at Columbia University, New York (2018), “30 Americans, ” a traveling exhibition with the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2008-2019),“Figuring History, ” at the Seattle Art Museum (2018), and “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1, Queens (2005). Thomas’s work is in numerous private and public collections including Akron Art Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Detroit Art Institute, Hammer Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musee de Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MoMA, Nelson Atkins Museum, Rubell Family Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Seattle Art Museum, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Tang Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

At the forefront of her field, Thomas’s work has appeared in numerous catalogues and reviewed extensively by Artforum, Art in America, The New York Times, The New Yorker, NY Arts, Modern Painters, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Thomas has participated in residency programs at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2002-2003) and the Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program in Giverny, France (2011). Recent commissions include Better Days, Galerie at Volkshaus, Basel, Switzerland (with Absolut Vodka Art Bureau); as well as mural projects for NY MTA, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority; Art in Embassies Program at the United States Embassy in Dakar, Senegal; and the Barclays Center, Brooklyn. Her film Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman was featured on HBO and received the Black Star Film Festival Audience Awards-Favorite Short in 2013. Thomas has been honored by MoMA PS1 (2015), and BOMB Magazine, MoCADA Artistic Advocacy Award (2015), AICA-USA Best Show in a Commercial Space Nationally (2014), Anonymous Was A Woman Grant (2012), Brooklyn Museum Asher B. Durand Award (2012), Timerhi Award for Leadership in the Arts (2012), Joan Mitchell Grant (2009), and Rema Hort Mann Grant (2007).

Thomas’s curatorial work is marked by the group exhibition, MUSE: tete-a-tete, Aperture (2012-2018) that features key works by artists that have inspired her or that she in turn has inspired. The exhibition has taken multiple forms as the selection of work shifts as it has traveled extensively across the country. Thomas recently began a curatorial collaborative, Deux Femmes Noires, with her partner and muse Racquel Chevremont. Their debut exhibition, The Aesthetics of Matter, premiered in the curated section of the Volta New York art fair in 2018. Most recently they organized Brand New Heavies, an exhibition featuring site-specific commissions by Abigail DeVille, Xaviera Simmons, and Rosa-Johan Uddoh that premiered at Pioneer Works, New York in 2021.

Thomas works with a number of galleries internationally, including Lévy Gorvy, New York; Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago; Susanne Vielmetter  Los Angeles Projects; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris and Brussels; and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York.She serves as a trustee on the Board of the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA PS1 New York.



Selected Press

artnet news | If You’re Looking for an Excuse to Visit Paris, FIAC Is Back. And There’s a Lot of Art to Love in the South of France, Too…

October 8, 2021

Lévy Gorvy is showing the third chapter in its four-city exhibition, “Mickalene Thomas: Beyond the …

Evening Standard | The fine art of doing Frieze week for free

October 8, 2021

Next week the big buzz is centred on the two tents in Regent’s Park housing Frieze London and Frieze …

Le Monde | Mickalene Thomas, la féministe pop qui donne de la visibilité aux femmes noires

October 7, 2021

A l’artiste Mickalene Thomas, 50 ans, qui expose ses peintures et collages sophistiqués simultanément …

artnet news | The Results of Christie’s Eclectic ‘Postwar to Present’ Auction Shows Today’s Buyers Have a Speculative Eye and a Nose for Novelty

October 4, 2021

If you were looking for an encapsulation of the weirdness of the art market in 2021, look no further …

Connaissance des Arts | De Paris à Marseille, 15 expositions alléchantes (et gratuites) pour jouir de l’art en octobre

October 4, 2021

Vanités modernes, exploration de corps impudiques, poétiques ou déstructurés, recherches autour de …

Vogue España | La artista Mickalene Thomas quiere que su mensaje de cambio se escuche alto y claro

October 4, 2021

Activista de la liberación de la belleza afro, la creadora visual ‘queer’ estadounidense Mickalene …

Il Giornale dell'Arte | Il potere nero tra pop e strass

October 1, 2021

Fino al 13 novembre a galleria Lévy Gorvy ospita nei suoi quattro spazi a New York, Londra, Parigi e …

Hong Kong Tatler | Black Beauties

October 1, 2021

Mickalene Thomas, who has changed the way we look at Black bodies, is presenting her life’s work in …

Art Ruby | Mickalene Thomas, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, at Lévy Gorvy.

September 30, 2021

Mickalene Thomas, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, at Lévy Gorvy.

Musée Magazine | Exhibition Review: Mickalene Thomas

September 29, 2021

Thomas uses models from the Jet Magazine pinup calenders from the 70s to expand on her exploration of …

Culture Type | New York: 5 Gallery Exhibitions Explore Work of Artists Dawoud Bey, Mickalene Thomas, John Akomfrah, Zanele Muholi, and Calida Rawles

September 28, 2021

Brooklyn-based Mickalene Thomas is showing a new body of work, 10 collage paintings featuring Jet pinup …

Vogue España | Venus de Ébano y Metal

September 27, 2021

La creadora visual ‘queer’ estadounidense MICKALENE THOMAS ha puesto su arte al servicio de la memoria …

Artforum | Must-See Shows

September 25, 2021

MUST SEE: Lévy Gorvy | New York. Mickalene Thomas: Beyond the Pleasure Principle. September 9 - November …

Widewalls | A Grand Four-City Survey of Mickalene Thomas On View at Levy Gorvy

September 24, 2021

Mickalene Thomas, one of the most celebrated artists of her generation, creates politically charged …

Dazed | Mickalene Thomas

September 21, 2021

Reimagining the past with the edge of a razor, Mickalene Thomas’s kaleidoscopic oeuvre poses timely …

Harper's Bazaar Germany | Feine Fur alle Mit zuganglicher Kunst avancierte Mickalene Thomas zum Star. Fur Bazaar gestaltete die Vielgefragte ein Cover

September 20, 2021

Für Mickalene Thomas geht es in diesem Herbst rund. In der Mitte ihres Lebens befindet sich die Künstlerin …

The New York Times | A New Level of Ambition in Art by 3 Women

September 16, 2021

Mickalene Thomas’s show at Lévy Gorvy is her first solo appearance in New York in seven years, so …

Essence | 18 Must-See Exhibitions To Visit This Fall

September 13, 2021

Thomas affords agency to those once reduced to “objects of desire” (including Jet pinup models), …

Smithsonian Magazine | Mickalene Thomas’ Dazzling Collages Reclaim Black Women’s Bodies

September 7, 2021

Mickalene Thomas, a contemporary African American artist known for her stunning collages, is attempting …

Hyperallergic | Your Concise Guide to Armory Week 2021

September 5, 2021

New York is the first stop on this traveling exhibition of multimedia works by Mickalene Thomas.

Air Mail | Mickalene Thomas: Beyond the Pleasure Principle

September 3, 2021

The exhibition will show in four chapters in Lévy Gorvy’s four galleries. The openings are staggered, …

The Brooklyn Rail | Mickalene Thomas with Amber Jamilla Musser

September 3, 2021

Beginning September 9 in New York City, Lévy Gorvy will present Mickalene Thomas: Beyond the Pleasure …

Ocula | The Armory Show: New York Exhibitions to See

September 2, 2021

Mickalene Thomas combines art history and popular culture to create contemporary images of female beauty, …

The Canvas Monthly | The Artists Issue

September 1, 2021

Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Dominique Lévy & Brett Gorvy, and Amalia Dayan will be dissolving their …

Essence | The Black Body Electric

September 1, 2021

Mickalene uses a multitude of mediums show-casing the strength and vulnerability of Black women through …

Interview | Mickalene Thomas by Whoopi Goldberg

September 1, 2021

This fall, Mickalene Thomas is taking over the world. The artist is kicking off her four-city Lévy Gorvy …

The Canvas | Just Getting Started: Mickalene Thomas

September 1, 2021

Mickalene Thomas is taking over the world this autumn, and for her legion of fans, it can't come soon …

Document Journal | Mickalene Thomas remixes tropes from art history to reveal everyday Black women as icons

August 30, 2021

This fall, Mickalene Thomas will open Beyond the Pleasure Principle, an international exhibition across …

Elle Decor | Shelf Life, Fall In

August 30, 2021

Mickalene Thomas (Phaidon), chronicles two decades' worth of the artist's output, while photographer …

Frieze | Signs of Resistance in a New Painting by Mickalene Thomas

August 25, 2021

Mickalene Thomas does not have to prove that the women she depicts are beautiful, nor does her work give …

Vogue | In Four New Exhibitions This Fall, Mickalene Thomas Explores the Beauty of the Female Form

August 24, 2021

The four locations where Mickalene Thomas will show this fall are all part of the Lévy Gorvy gallery …

Time Out | Artist Mickalene Thomas mines vintage Jet Magazines for new show

August 19, 2021

The celebrated artist Mickalene Thomas, who frequently mines the cultural significance and contributions …

The New York Times | Age, Creativity and Our Mortality

August 15, 2021

In T's advice column, Culture Therapist, either Ligaya Mishan or Megan O'Grady solves your problems using …

Widewalls | Mickalene Thomas at Levy Gorvy

July 1, 2021

The retrospective of acclaimed American artist Mickalene Thomas will take place at four Lévy Gorvy …

artnet 资讯 | 米卡琳·托马斯是谁,为何这家蓝筹画廊为她做全球四城接力大展?

June 17, 2021

蓝筹画廊厉蔚阁@LevyGorvy 宣布了一项重磅消息,画廊将于2021年秋举办一场横跨画廊位于世界四座城市展览空间的国际展览,呈现托马斯相互关联的新作系列。

Art Market Monitor | To Level Up, Mickalene Thomas’s Market Is Going Global

June 11, 2021

Lévy Gorvy, is mounting an exhibition of Mickalene Thomas’s works in all four of its galleries. The …

Sina Finance | 一周艺术人物|记录封城的法国摄影师与绘写演员的主持人

June 7, 2021

近日,厉蔚阁画廊宣布将于2021年秋在纽约、伦敦、巴黎、香港四地为美国艺术家米卡琳·托马斯(Mickalene …

Surface | The Centre Pompidou Plans an Outpost in Jersey City, and Other News

June 7, 2021

A landmark exhibition of new interconnected works by Mickalene Thomas will unfold this fall across …

Le Quotidien de l'Art | Mickalene Thomas investira quatre espaces de Lévy Gorvy

June 7, 2021

La galerie consacrera cet automne une exposition internationale à l’artiste américaine Mickalene …

artnet 资讯 | 她是谁,为何这家蓝筹画廊为她做全球四城接力大展?

June 4, 2021

这位艺术圈备受赞誉的女艺术家,是米卡琳·托马斯(Mickalene Thomas)。今日,蓝筹画廊厉蔚阁宣布一项重磅消息,画廊将于2021年秋举办一场横跨画廊位于世界四座城市展览空间的国际展览,呈现米卡琳·托马斯相互关联的新作系列。

FAD Magazine | Lévy Gorvy Goes Global With A Four City Exhibition With Artist Mickalene Thomas

June 4, 2021

Lévy Gorvy will host an international exhibition unfolding across its spaces in four world capitals, …

Culture Type | Mickalene Thomas, Whose Powerful Paintings Celebrate Black Women, is Staging Exhibitions with Lévy Gorvy Gallery in Four World Capitals This Fall

June 4, 2021

THIS FALL, Mickalene Thomas will make a grand statement, presenting all new work in a series of exhibitions …

ART News | NFT Bubble Deflates, Belgium Returns Nazi-Looted Painting, and More: Morning Links from June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

Lévy Gorvy gallery will stage a four-part show with Mickalene Thomas in the fall across its four …

artnet news | Lévy Gorvy Is Dedicating All Four of Its Global Galleries to Mickalene Thomas, a Growing Art-Market Force, This Fall

June 3, 2021

Lévy Gorvy, is devoting all of its spaces—in New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong—to a four-part …

Financial Times | Rothko brings star power to London gallery launch

June 2, 2021

"This is the most ambitious project I've ever done with a living artist, says art dealer Dominique Lévy. …

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