Visitors enjoy the 2011 MFA Graduate Exhibition at the Winery SF on Treasure Island.

Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series

Mickalene Thomas
Monday, September 30, 2013 - 7:30pm
Lecture Hall
VAS SOCIAL HOUR: SFAI Café » 6:30–7:30 pm
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco,

Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow for Interdisciplinary Painting Practices

Through elaborate paintings and installations, Mickalene Thomas honors powerful women and constructs luxe interiors with layers of rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel. Engaging inspiration from art historical sources—among them Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden, and Pop Art—Thomas introduces a complex femininity and expands conventional notions of beauty into incisively glamorous territory.

Thomas holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from Pratt Institute. In 2002, she participated in the Artist-in-Residence program at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and in 2011 was a resident at the Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program in Giverny, France. Recent awards include the 2012 Brooklyn Museum Asher B. Durand Award, the Timerhi Award for Leadership in the Arts, a Joan Mitchell Grant, and a Rema Hort Mann Grant.

Thomas’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in the major exhibitions 30 Americans, Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Mama Bush: One of a Kind Two, Hara Museum, Tokyo; Americans Now, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Something You Can Feel, La Conservera Contemporary Art Centre, Ceutí, Spain; and Origin of the Universe (solo exhibition), Brooklyn Museum. Thomas’s work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is represented by Lehmann Maupin, New York; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris.

Mickalene Thomas will be in conversation with Charles Desmarais, president of SFAI.

Eventbrite - SFAI Clive Visiting Fellow Lecture: Mickalene Thomas


Mickalene Thomas
Portrait of Mnonja, 2010
Rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel

96 x 120 inches
Courtesy of the artist; Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York