Girlfriends, Lovers, Still Lifes and Landscape
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas’ second solo exhibition at the gallery “Girlfriends, Lovers, Still Lifes, and Landscape.”
This exhibition includes new paintings, photographs, and collages that reflect Thomas’ study of classical genres of portraiture, still lifes and landscapes. Inspired by various sources that range from the 19th century Hudson River School to Marie Antoinette’s court painter, Anne Vallayer-Coster, Thomas continues to explore notions of beauty through a contemporary lens.
In her painting, Landscape with Woman Washing Her Feet, Thomas borrows her title from the 1650 painting by 19th century French classicist Nicolas Poussin, a major influence on the Hudson River School painters. In Thomas’ painting, a leopard print acts as a stand in for the woman, drawing attention to the relationship of the female body to the land.
“Girlfriends, Lovers, Still Lifes, and Landscape” includes investigations of the role of the artist’s muse and common still life props such as baskets of plastic fruit and artificial flowers. These props are also used in Thomas’ installations and can be found in her figurative paintings. Thomas’s evocative enamel and rhinestone adorned paintings challenge traditional notions of painting, calling attention to the muse as the artist’s lover and the domestic setting as a way to empower women.
Mickalene Thomas was born and raised in New Jersey. She earned her MFA from Yale University, and her BFA from Pratt Institute. In 2002-2003 she participated in the Artist-in-Residence program at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Her work has been included in many prominent solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo exhibitions include Girlfriends, Lovers, Still Lifes and Landscape at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL, What’s Love Got To Do With It at Bloom Projects, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, CA, and An Imitation of Love, Brawlin’ Spitfire Two, Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Selected group exhibitions in the past year include Perverted by Theater curated by Franklin Evans, Apexart, New York, NY, City Stage, New Orleans Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA, and Black Is, Black Ain’t curated by Hamza Walker, The Renaissance Society, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Thomas’ work will in the Rubell Family Collection’s exhibition “30 Americans” from
December 3, 2008 - May 30, 2009 in Miami, FL. She will have a solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, in March 2009 and Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles in November 2009.
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