Interior Glam: Mickalene Thomas at Lehmann Maupin

NEW YORK—Mickalene Thomas is enjoying a major moment in her career. The artist’s dynamic work is on exhibit throughout the city—a Lehmann Maupin‘s Chelsea and Lower East Side locations, as well in Brooklyn, where she has a large solo show on view at the Brooklyn Museum.

“How to Organize a Room Around a Striking Piece of Art,” Thomas’s new two-part exhibition at Lehmann Maupin, honors her mother Sandra Bush (a frequent, inspirational subject) in photographs and a film and explores her fascination with interiors. Rife with color, her striking domestic scenes are defined by her signature sparkly embellishments and disjointed rooms and slight shifts in space that are similar to collage techniques and reminiscent of the works by Romare Bearden.

Installation view.

The large-scale canvases draw on a range of sources including “The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement,” a design anthology published in the early 1970s, the decade during which Thomas grew up and time period that lingers throughout her work.

The works at the Lower East Side space also include new studies of lush outdoor scenes inspired by her recent experience in Giverny, France, where she spent time in Claude Monet’s famous garden during a residency at the Versailles Foundation.

“How to Organize a Room Around a Striking Piece of Art” is on view at Nov. 14, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013 at Lehmann Maupin on Chrystie Street and West 26th Street, where Thomas has recreated “one of her tableau environments in the gallery, allowing viewers to fully immerse themselves in her world.”

Read more about Thomas in “Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe,” her first monograph, which was published to coincide with the museum show.

All photos by Arts Observer

“Monet’s Blue Foyer,” 2011 (mixed-media collage).

Detail of “Monet’s Blue Foyer.”

Installation view from second floor of gallery.

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