Mickalene Thomas Delves Deeper Into Cubism, Collage

Thomas. (Illustration by Paul Kisselev)

Over the past decade, Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas, 43, has earned acclaim for her wide-ranging practice, which slices and dices early Modernism, African sculpture, textiles and, perhaps most famously, rhinestones, to make exuberant, ingenious paintings, particularly portraits of black women in lush, electric, richly patterned interiors. Her latest show, “Tête de Femme,” opens at Chelsea’s Lehmann Maupin gallery on June 26. Read More

On View

Klara Kristalova at Galerie Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin

Installation view at Perrotin. (Courtesy Galerie Perrotin)

At the center of Klara Kristalova’s exhibition “Underworld,” at Galerie Perrotin, sits a lumpy, brown, trained bear. All the other figures in the Czech-born, Swedish ceramicist ’s psychic circus have a dewy wet glaze that makes them look, despite their waist-high size and evident weight, as provisional as soap bubbles. But the only thing shining on the bear, as she lolls on the edge of a low, gray pedestal next to a bearded but womanly ringmaster, demurely tilting her mousy head, are the 20 white claws that she makes a point of extending. It’s clearly the bear that tolerates the trainer, not otherwise. Together they comprise a single insightful piece called Le Mariage. Read More

human resources

Does New York Have Room for Another Art P.R. Firm? Calum Sutton Thinks So

Sutton. (Photo by Merry Brownfield)

As the art world continues to expand and globalize, so does the P.R. machine that handles its messages, as The Observer reported in a feature in 2012. That expansion now includes an established firm opening offices overseas and specifically billing itself as a global agency. Today, British P.R. maven Calum Sutton, who already runs offices in London and Hong Kong, told The Observer he has opened a New York office for his firm, Sutton PR, with longtime New York art P.R. agent Jennifer Joy at the helm. Read More

the end of the world

Burned Out on Bali: An Apocalyptic Conversation With Ashley Bickerton

Ashley Bickerton

Near the opening of Noa Noa, Paul Gauguin’s journal from his travels in Tahiti, the artist describes an encounter with the Tahitian governor, “the negro Lacascade, who received me as though I had been an important personage.” The French government had sent Gauguin to the island on “an artistic mission,” but the governor and his entourage, Gauguin writes, believed this “was only an official synonym for espionage.” Of the island, he continues:

“It was Europe—the Europe I had thought to shake off—and that under the aggravating circumstances of colonial snobbism, and the imitation, grotesque even to the point of caricature, of our customs, fashions, vices and absurdities of civilization.

Was I to have made this far journey, only to find the very thing which I had fled?”

The artist Ashley Bickerton, for whom Gauguin is something of a perpetual elephant in the room, moved to Bali exactly 20 years ago to flee a different kind of colonial snobbism—the New York art world. The gallery boom of the 1980s had been kind to Mr. Bickerton, until it wasn’t. By his count, he is now on his third comeback. In August, about a month before his fourth solo show was set to open at Lehmann Maupin Gallery here, we talked on Skype from his home in the tropics, situated almost precisely halfway around the world from New York. I had just woken up, and he was preparing for bed. Read More

human resources

Photographer Alex Prager Joins Lehmann Maupin

Crowd#2 (Emma), 2012[2]

Alex Prager, who is known for her richly saturated color photographs of staged, cinematic scenes, is now represented by Lehmann Maupin. The gallery will present Ms. Prager’s work at Frieze London and at FIAC in Paris, after which the Los Angeles-based artist will be the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., opening on Nov. 23. Her debut exhibition at Lehmann Maupin will take place in early January at its Chrystie Street location.  Read More