Mickalene Thomas: I Can’t See You Without Me
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Presenting paintings of some of the artist's key models and muses, I Can't See You Without Me illuminates the work of Brooklyn painter Mickalene Thomas (born 1971). Culling from art history and popular culture, Thomas creates scintillating portraits that deconstruct the highly charged connections between sitter, artist and viewer. Whether depicted as classically composed 19th-century odalisques, Afro-adorned vixens of blaxploitation films or as a powerful maternal figure yearning for social mobility, the recurring models in Thomas's compositions (almost exclusively women of colour) convey a spirit of strength and self-confidence. Focused yet expansive, the catalogue both reasserts and further contextualises issues of identity, sexuality and agency in Thomas' work that have only become more nuanced and palpable over time.
ISBN 9781881390572. Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University.