Artist will compare her work to Warhol’s in Westmoreland program | TribLIVE.com
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Shirley McMarlin

Contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas will discuss her work on May 29 at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg.

Thomas will join Jose Diaz, chief curator at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, to explore how her artistic process and work are thematically and stylistically similar to Warhol’s. The program is set for 7:30-9 p.m. in the museum at 221 N. Main St.

Thomas, who is known for her texturally complex paintings of women, will address her and Warhol’s use of imagery appropriated from pop culture and history. She and Diaz also will discuss Thomas’ “Shug Kisses Celie” (2016), which is a part of The Westmoreland’s permanent collection and can be found in the Post-1950s Gallery.

To create “Shug Kisses Celie,” Thomas photographed a still from the movie, “The Color Purple,” and lithographed the image onto a grid of mirrored surfaces using layers of ink. Viewers can see themselves in one small triangular mirror left uncovered, according to The Westmoreland.

Brooklyn, New York-based Thomas is a painter, photographer, videographer and collage artist whose work “draws on art history and popular culture to create a contemporary vision of female sexuality, identity, beauty and power. Thomas is best known for creating mixed media portraits of women, using a variety of materials such as acrylic, enamel and rhinestones,” the museum says.

She has had recent solo exhibitions at the Baldwin Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, The Dayton Art Institute and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. Her works are in collections including those of The Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

She created the title sequence of collage-like images for “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” a documentary that premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Tickets for the program at The Westmoreland are $10. To purchase, call 888-718-4253 or visit thewestmoreland.org.

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