A female-focused portrait series
ART Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires Nov. 29 to March 24, AGO
Best known as the artist who painted the first official portrait of Michelle Obama, Mickalene Thomas challenges how black women have been depicted throughout history. Her subjects range from celebrities to family members, and the materials she uses are just as diverse: a mix of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel fusing into richly textured, vibrantly coloured collages that explore femininity, beauty and sexuality. A collaboration with the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, the AGO’s Femmes Noires is Thomas’s first large-scale solo exhibition in Canada. The multimedia retrospective highlights her signature collage work and the movements that inspired it, including Impressionism, Dada and the Harlem Renaissance.
“Diahann Carroll #2,” 2018. Silkscreen ink and acrylic on acrylic mirror mounted on wood panel. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/ Brussels.
“Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe: Les trois femmes noires,” 2010. Rhinestones, acrylic and enamel on panel. The Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann Collection. Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul.
“Portrait of Kalena,” 2017. Acrylic and oil on wood panel. Collection of Ursula M. Burns. Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul.
“Los Angelitos Negros,” 2016. Four HD video monitors: four two-channel HD video, sound. Courtesy of the artist.