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Mickalene Thomas

Muse and tête-à-tête

On view Jan. 27 - Mar. 12, 2017

Meyerhoff Gallery: Fox Building

1303 W Mt Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21217

Gallery hours:
Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.

Closing reception: Friday, March 10, 5-7 p.m.

artwork by Mickalene Thomas

The Maryland Institute College of Art and the Aperture Foundation are pleased to announce "Muse and tête-à-tête," a survey of highly stylized portrait photography by Mickalene Thomas, with an accompanying exhibition of photography curated by Thomas. The exhibition also includes an installation that represents a reconstructed portion of Thomas' studio where many of the portraits were taken.

Known for her large-scale, multi-textured paintings of domestic interiors and portraits, Thomas has also made photography a defining touchstone of her practice. In "Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs," her portraits, which typically feature women posed dramatically in retro-furnished rooms, draw equally from 1970s black-is-beautiful images of women, such as supermodel Beverly Johnson and actress Vonetta McGee, as they do Édouard Manet's odalisque figures and the mise-en-scène studio portraiture of James Van Der Zee and Malick Sidibé.

Most importantly, the collection of portraits represents a community of inspiration for Thomas, the muses-including herself, her mother, her friends and her lovers-that emphasize the social and shared aspects of art-making and creativity.

Muse, a photo book published by Aperture to coincide with the exhibition, is the first publication to feature Thomas' varied approaches to photography, including portraits, collages, Polaroids and other techniques.

The accompanying exhibition, "tête-à-tête," features photography by artists who have inspired Thomas' work, including Derrick Adams, Renée Cox, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lyle Ashton Harris, Deana Lawson, Zanele Muholi, Malick Sidibé, Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas and Carrie Mae Weems. Selected from multiple generations, the artists curated by Thomas represent a large and diverse community of inspiration.

Aperture logo

Exhibition organized by Aperture Foundation, New York
The exhibition is supported, in part, by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc.

All Thomas works © courtesy the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

artwork by Mickalene Thomas

artwork by Mickalene Thomas

artwork by Mickalene Thomas