NEW YORK—Mickalene Thomas has been showing a new body of work at Lehmann Maupin gallery. “Tete de Femme” (which means “head of a woman”) includes seven collage paintings, colorful abstract portraits that explore feminine beauty. A departure from the detailed celebrations of the female form and studies of interior spaces for which she is known, the new series conjures Romare Bearden and Picasso. “Untitled #10” features an Andy Warhol-esque flower where one would expect to see an eye.
According to the gallery, “Thomas looks to early 20th century Cubism and contemporary Pop references, fragmenting and reducing portraiture to its most formal and geometric elements to create larger-than-life portraits of her models.”
Whereas Thomas’s previous work, often inspired by her late mother, was defined by full-bodied female power, presence and strength, the abstracts focus on facial features executed with geometric shapes, bold makeup-style strokes of color and a mix of materials, screen printed patterns and her signature rhinestone and glitter embellishments.
“Tete de Femme” closes this week. The exhibition is on view from June 26 to Aug. 8, 2014 at Lehmann Maupin’s West 26th street gallery.
Read more about Thomas and her practice in “Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe,” her first monograph published to coincide with her first museum show.
All photos by Arts Observer