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Origin of the Universe

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Din, une très belle négresse #2, 2012 Rhinestones, Acrylic Paint, and Oil Enamel on Wood Panel 102 X 84 X 2 In. (259.1 X 213.4 X 5.1 Cm) © Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, and Suzanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
Origin of the Universe

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052
September 28th, 2012 - January 20th, 2013
Opening: September 28th, 2012 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.brooklynmuseum.org
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
brooklyn
EMAIL:  
information@brooklynmuseum.org
PHONE:  
718-638-5000
OPEN HOURS:  
Wed, Fri-Sun 11-6; Thu 11-10
TAGS:  
collage

DESCRIPTION

Brooklyn artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate, collage-inspired paintings, embellished with rhinestones, enamel, and colorful acrylics. Her depictions of African American women explore a spectrum of black female beauty and sexual identity while constructing images of femininity and power. Origin of the Universe, Thomas’s first solo museum exhibition, highlights recent bodies of work that examine interior and exterior environments in relation to the female figure. Their settings are often inspired by her 1970s childhood.

Thomas’s production is informed by the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, still life, and the female nude. She combines careful borrowings from historical painting with contemporary popular culture, taking cues from such artists as Romare Bearden, Gustave Courbet, David Hockney, Édouard Manet, and Henri Matisse. In combining traditional genres with African American female subjects, Thomas makes a case for opening up the conventional parameters of art history and culture. Among the pieces on view are contemporary riffs on Courbet’s Origin of the World and Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe. Seventy-five of the ninety featured works were added for the Brooklyn presentation. An entrance-gallery mural, a film about Thomas's mother, and installations of furnished domestic interiors were created specifically for this show.