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  • Provenance

    Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Combining elements of photography, painting, collage and installation, Mickalene Thomas’ work presents multifaceted and dense visual landscapes. Influenced by artists such as Carrie Mae Weems, Thomas’s work explore themes of identity in race and gender, particularly African-American females: “By portraying real women with their own unique history, beauty and background, I’m working to diversify the representations of black women in art.” This unique photomontage installation, the first (from her series) to appear at auction, is comprised of seven panels each with stacked frames and fabric built around the seven striking female portraits.

  • Artist Biography

    Mickalene Thomas

    American • 1971

    Influenced by Lacanian psychology as much as by the glam aesthetics of 1970s Blaxploitation films, artist Mickalene Thomas subverts conventional canonical formats to unravel notions of race, gender, and sexuality. Thomas’s complex works incorporate a wide range of media including rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel to create richly layered collage-like compositions that explore the inner natures of her sitters against the contradictions and misconceptions of identity. She produces portraits of African American women using vocabularies of the art historical canon and contemporary celebrity photography to render her subjects as powerful agents of their identities. Often depicting her sitters, whom the artist frequently refers to as “muses,” in the poses of the odalisques of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and Édouard Manet, Thomas subverts traditional forms of representation and presents a complex and empathetic vision of the myriad experiences of Black woman in contemporary America. Her sitters return the viewer’s gaze, supercharging their potent presences.

    Thomas came to making art under precipitous circumstances; inspired by a retrospective of the work of Carrie Mae Weems while she was studying law in Portland, Oregon, Thomas has since devoted herself to exploring identity in visual terms. Her work incorporates a huge variety of influences, from Édouard Manet and Henri Matisse to Weems and Kehinde Wiley, and has been the subject of major retrospectives at the Brooklyn Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

    View More Works

276

Photomontage 5

2008
Unique photographic installation comprised of seven panels.
Overall 36 x 48 x 3.5 in. (91.4 x 121.9 x 8.9 cm)
Each panel signed, titled and dated in ink on the reverse.

Estimate
$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $31,250

Contact Specialist
Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas

General Enquiries
+1 212 940 1245

Photographs

New York Auction 4 October 2018