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.
A century and a half ago, Gustave Courbet painted a close-up, spread-eagled view of a woman’s genitals and called it The Origin of the World. It is one sign of the extent to which women artists have taken ownership of such male-created images that no fewer than three major New York museum exhibitions of works by mid- and late-career women artists feature variations on Courbet’s erotic classic. In the past year, both this newspaper and The Economist have reported on the lingering inequities between women’s work and men’s on the art market. That may still be true, but, at least in New York, museums are doing their part—and that may eventually set things straight.
The new home of the Nets basketball team, the Barclays Center, which is set to open in downtown Brooklyn next Friday, will boast 101 luxury suites, one of Jay-Z’s 40/40 clubs and—its owners announced today—major site-specific artworks by Mickalene Thomas, the collective OpenEndedGroup and Fort Greene-based artist José Parlá.
Saturday night, artist Callie Curry (a k a Swoon), hosted a pop-up beauty parlor in Long Island City. Patrons were offered up anything from a $10 “Primp” to a $500 “Total Transfiguration” by an artist of their choice—Mickalene Thomas, Duke Riley, Dustin Yellin and Natalie Frank were a few on hand helping to raise money for Ms. Curry’s community art center in North Braddock, Penn. We’re told they succeeded in bringing in nearly $55,000 (both from the event and from the sale of a work by Ms. Curry).
You may have seen Dustin Yellin’s show at Half Gallery in April, but come September, the artist will put aside his resin specimens and will do your hair, for the right price. Mr. Yellin is one of the many artists including Mickalene Thomas, Natalie Frank, Duke Riley, K8 Hardy and Dzine who will be offering up their services for a few hours at Pearly’s Beauty Shop on the night of September 8.