Tag: Mickalene Thomas

Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery Debuts “Posing Modernity,” an Exhibition on The Evolution of Black Women Models in Art

Frédéric Bazille – Young Woman with Peonies, 1870. (Photograph: National Gallery of Art/Image courtesy National Gallery of Art)

by  via theguardian.com

In 1863, the French artist Édouard Manet painted Olympia, a reclining nude prostitute, shedding a scandalous light on Parisian brothel culture. But while much of the attention has been on the white model in the painting, Victorine Meurent, the black model beside her, Laure, has been largely overlooked by art historians.

Curator Denise Murrell (photo via 92y.org)

“People have told me, ‘It’s not that I didn’t see the black maid in the painting, I just didn’t know what to say about her’,” said the curator Denise Murrell. “I always felt she is presented in a more stronger light than maids usually are, and I wondered what could be said about her, even though art history said very little.”

This one painting then sparked the exhibition which Murrell has curated, Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today, opening at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery in New York on October 24th.

From photography to painting and sculpture, as well as film and print correspondence, this exhibit traces how the black figure has been key to the development of modern art over the past 150 years. Many of the artists here bring to light much of what art history has ignored.

“I’m looking for angles that are more relevant than just the standard narrative of the art world,” said Murrell. “I’m giving a number of different narratives that can be discussed around the black figure; there is a wider variety of black models, especially the black female figure, in broader, social roles.”

Henri Matisse, Dame à la robe blanche (Woman in white),1946. (Photograph: Courtesy of Des Moines Art Center)

Among the artists in the exhibit, there are works by Henri Matisse, including “Dame à la robe blanche (Woman in white),” from 1946, showing a black model in a white dress. The painting was made after the artist’s visit to Harlem in the 1930s, where he met local artists as part of the Harlem Renaissance, a black arts movement which celebrated African American culture.

Laura Wheeler Waring, one member of the group, was a painter who made portraits of African American civil rights figures, like author W.E.B. Du Bois and singer Marian Anderson.

“It shows the historical weight and significance of what Harlem artists were doing at the time,” said Murrell. “African American slavery or enslaved individuals were stereotyped and caricatured, and one thing Harlem Renaissance artists wanted to do was give dignity to black female figures, or to black figures, period.”

The other Harlem Renaissance painters in the exhibit include William H. Johnson, who captured the everyday lives of African Americans, whether it was groups of friends in urban settings to rural families, all of which tell “the critical story of modern portrayals of black figures”, said Murrell.

There are also works by Charles Alston, who was known locally for painting murals in Harlem hospitals, but was also recognized as a painter for his portraits of musicians, groups of cotton workers and family portraits. Alston is widely recognized for his bust of Martin Luther King Jr., which today sits in the White House. “He shows African Americans as the urban middle class,” said Murrell. “All aspects of life, high and low, are captured in his paintings.”

The more recent artworks in the exhibit, made over the past 50 years, are different from those, say, 100 years ago. “It’s more empowered because we now have a presence, artists of color,” she said. “You have black portraits by black artists, which broadens the range of artistic styles and strategies.”

Mickalene Thomas – Din, une très belle négresse, 2012. (Photograph: shootArt Mobile/Courtesy of the artist)

There are paintings by female artists such as Mickalene Thomas, who recently captured Cardi B for the cover of W Magazine’s art issue. In “Din, une très belle négresse,” from 2012, is a portrait of a black woman painted colorfully in retro garb.

“She takes 19th-century black women portrayals, but shows them in expressive ways, with rhinestones, afro wigs and a 1970s look,” said Murrell. “They’re women portrayed as sensual but in control of their sensuality, in a manner that shows a black woman who wants to be herself.

“And it’s not just black women, but women period, as sensual but in control of their sensuality and not just for the gaze of the presumed viewer, the white male,” adds Murrell, “You see that perspective unfolding to a more diverse group of artists and subjects of art.”

The exhibit features works by black female artists like Faith Ringgold, known for her quilts portraying black figures like Aunt Jemima, alongside Ellen Gallagher, who has cut up old advertisements of black women to offer her own perspective.

“You can see the evolution as the black figure comes closer to subjectivity, or agency, portrayed by women artists,” said Murrell, “or by showing black women in a way that’s closer to their own modes of self-representation.”

Though the black female figure in art has changed over the past 150 years, there is still progress to be made ahead. “There’s still an underrepresentation of black women artists, and black artists, in the contemporary art world,” said Murrell.

The exhibit is complete in one way, but incomplete in another. “I hope it gives a sense of history to the kind of art we look at today,” said Murrell. “There was a black presence in modern art, we see that in this show and I hope we start seeing more of it.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/oct/22/matisse-to-modernity-the-evolution-of-black-female-models-in-art

Essence to Honor Issa Rae, Janelle Monae, Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi at Black Women in Hollywood Awards

(photo via shadowandact.com)
(Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King, Janelle Monae, Yara Shahidi (photo via shadowandact.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Essence, the nation’s preeminent brand for African-American women, will commemorate the 10th anniversary of its “Black Women in Hollywood Awards” by shifting from a daytime luncheon to an evening gala for the first time.

The Awards & Gala will honor Hollywood’s “Next Generation”— young women who are excelling and elevating their crafts—including actress/musician Janelle Monáe (Breakthrough Award); groundbreaking “Insecure” actress/writer/producer Issa Rae (Vanguard Award); “How To Get Away With Murder” Yale-educated actress Aja Naomi King (Lincoln Shining Star Award); and “Black-ish” actress Yara Shahidi (Generation Next).

Actress/Producer Gabrielle Union will serve as the program’s host and the red carpet ceremony will be held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA, on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

“For the past decade, the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” have paid homage to our modern image-makers—both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” said Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “This past year has been an exceptional one for diversity in film and television, and with the incredible contributions of Janelle, Issa, Aja and Yara, it is fitting that our 10th anniversary will honor the future of Hollywood and its continued steps on the path to inclusion.”

Also for the first time, internationally acclaimed visual artist and filmmaker Mickalene Thomas will be infusing the event with her elaborate imagery celebrating the power of female beauty as a facet of women’s empowerment.

To check out highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards & Gala,” go to Essence.comFacebookTwitter or Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood.

LIFESTYLE: GBN Picks for August 2015

by Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle Editor
by Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle Editor

It’s August, and summer is almost over, but I’m always on the hunt for fun entertaining things to do, read, watch and… enjoy! Here’s a few listed below:

IN ART

August 25th October 27th

Muse by artist Mickalene Thomas

mickalene
This gorgeous book is at the top of my list. It explores Mickalene’s inspiration of African American female beauty and identity through her photographs. We get lots of inspiring 70’s-themed shots. http://mickalenethomas.com
UPDATE: The release date of this book has been pushed to October 27.  To pre-order via Amazon, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Muse-Mickalene-Thomas-Photographs/dp/159711314X
IN SPORTS
August 31st

U.S. Open

serena
Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
Serena will compete in the U.S. Open and may just make make tennis history.
IN TELEVISION
August 5th
Mr. Robinson
NBC premieres Mr. Robinson starring Craig Robinson as a musician (lead singer and keyboardist of the funk band Nasty Delicious) who takes a job as a high school substitute teacher to pay the bills. Craig is moved to inspire the kids.  This sounds like a pretty cool premise promising lots of laughter. http://www.nbc.com/mr-robinson

July 30

unnamed-2
L.A. Hair star Kim Kimble

Thursdays, catch the new season L.A. Hair on WE tv with celebrity stylist Kim Kimble and her staff. Famed hair stylist Jonathan Antin reappears this season looking to break into the lucrative world of wigs and extensions. http://www.wetv.com/shows/la-hair http://kimblehairstudio.com

IN CINEMA
August 7th

Fantastic Four
unnamed

Michael B. Jordan joins Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell as four young outsiders who acquire superhuman abilities after a trip to an alternative universe. Check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAgnQdiZFsQ

August 14th

Straight Outta Compton

unnamed-4

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. The F. Gary Gray-directed film about the revolutionary rap legends N.W.A. is steadily gaining rave reviews. Click here for the trailer: http://www.straightouttacompton.com/#/

IN MUSIC

August brings us Erykah Badu!

unnamed-5

Click for tour dates: http://www.livenation.com/artists/41646/erykah-badu

August 10th

Future

future

Future at the Observatory, Santa Ana CA http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/future-aug-10

August 12th

Earl Sweatshirt

sweatshirt

Odd Future member and solo artist and all-around talented guy begins his second leg of the U.S. world tour this month and I can’t wait to see him! http://earlsweatshirt.com

He will also be appearing at the Low End Theory Festival with Flying Lotus on August 8: http://www.shrineauditorium.com/events/detail/275496

August 21st

Method ManThe Meth Lab

Method Man

It’s been a minute since Method Man has released a solo effort. He’s done tons of collaborations but this will be the first album he has put out in a decade. This 5th solo effort proves to be worth the wait.

August 22 -23rd
FYF Festival
FYF fest
Los Angeles-based annual festival featuring music performances from indie and alternative bands. Frank Ocean, Morrissey and Solange are among the many premiere acts.
August 28th
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
Finally! The highly-anticipated album is coming out this month.
unnamed-3
August 30th – September 7th
Burning Man
unnamed-9
Explore the annual festival in the Nevada desert…features great d.j.’s, parties and communal harmony. http://burningman.org

Artist Mickalene Thomas Debuts Her First Film on HBO

Artist Mickalene Thomas
Artist and Director Mickalene Thomas (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)

When Mickalene Thomas, 42, describes her short film, Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Girl, as a “moving portrait of my mother,” it’s meant both literally and figuratively. The 30-minute feature on Thomas’s mother, Sandra Bush, a beautiful statuesque preacher’s daughter from Camden, New Jersey, who has appeared in many of Thomas’s paintings, is rich in detail, provocative and endearing. It chronicles Bush’s life in her own words as she becomes a young mother and wife, a survivor of abuse and addiction, the reigning “mother of the art-world” and ultimately a warrior for her waning health.

“What I love about my mother is that she had a never give up spirit. Even when she was really sick and dying, you can see in the film that she didn’t want to die. She had hope and faith that she was going to survive,” says Thomas. Sandra Bush passed on November 7, 2012, shortly after Thomas’ first solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, where the Happy Birthday film debuted.

“The reason why I say this is a portrait of my mother is because for me it’s like looking at a painting—you don’t always have all of the answers, instead there’s lots of questions. It’s very open ended and that’s what makes life beautiful and mysterious and exhilirating and exciting and adventurous because it’s so tangible and intangible at the same time.”

Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Girl airs starting today on HBO.

article by Norell Giancana via bet.com

 

“Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” Exhibit Opens at Brooklyn Museum

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe Portraits by this artist in this Brooklyn Museum show. (Librado Romero/The New York Times)

Mickalene Thomas’s brash, exuberant paintings don’t care what you think of them; they are much too busy simply — or not so simply — being themselves. Their sense of independence is driven home by this artist’s invigorating exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, along with the realization that the museum’s populist program sometimes hits the nail on the head.

Organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art in California, and substantially expanded in Brooklyn, “Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” is a show of broad appeal, free of dumbing down. It has examples of the large, color photo-portraits and clusters of the small, truculent collages that function as studies for Ms. Thomas’s paintings while being works of art themselves. Continue reading ““Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” Exhibit Opens at Brooklyn Museum”