Lehmann Maupin Gallery is pleased to present Mickalene Thomas' first New York solo exhibition She's Come UnDone! at the gallery's 540 West 26th Street location. This exhibition presents a new series of paintings, photographs and collages that continue her exploration of cultural and personal conceptions of female identity.
Known for her elaborate works composed with rhinestones, enamel and colorful acrylics, Thomas has created new works that introduce a complex vision of what it means to be a woman and expand common definitions of beauty. She has chosen her subjects for this body of work with an eye toward representations of women not typically seen in the canon of figurative painting. Drawing from her long study of art history and the classical genre of portraiture, she has infused her knowledge with more recent influences of popular culture and Pop Art.
In her painting, A-E-I-O-U (And Sometimes Y), Thomas has brought her multi-panel format to a grand scale. Each of the 40 panels of this painting depict the larger-than-life visage of a woman rendered in black rhinestones. Ten of the panels have been graced with a fuller spectrum of color, but all 40 have the simplified form and palette characteristic of Andy Warhol. With the disrupted grid arrangement and the primary colors, Thomas has orchestrated a lyrical composition reminiscent of Piet Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie Woogie."
New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas earned her MFA from Yale University in 2002 and, in 2002-2003, participated in the Artist-in-Residence program at the Studio Museum in Harlem. She has exhibited extensively and was included in the recent and critically acclaimed exhibitions 30 Americans at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, FL; Black Is, Black Ain't at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, IL; and Greater New York 2005 at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, NY. Her work may also be seen in prestigious public collections such as the Brooklyn Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.; and the Art Institute of Chicago among others.