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Talking to curators: new views of Impressionism

March 11th, 2019

Installation view of Mickalene Thomas’ Din, une très belle négresse #1 (Din, a very beautiful black woman #1), on view at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University in the City of New York, October 24, 2018 to February 10, 2018.  Photo by Sirin Samman/Columbia University.

What’s the connection between the Impressionists and Mickalene Thomas? More than you’d think, according to Dr. Denise Murrell. As curator of the groundbreaking exhibition Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today (an expanded version of the exhibition called Black models: from Géricault to Matisse is opening on March 26 at the Musée d’Orsay), Murrell revisits mid-19th-century Paris to trace the key role of Black female models in the development of modern art. Starting with the early Impressionists, the exhibition features works chronologically, right through to contemporary artists like Mickalene Thomas.

On a recent visit to the AGO, Murrell sat down with AGO curators Dr. Caroline Shields (Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more) and Dr. Julie Crooks (Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires) to discuss the connections between these shows, how artists and curators are re-examining art history and so much more. Check out the full conversation below:

Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires is on now until March 24, while Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more closes May 5.

Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today recently closed at the Wallach Art Gallery in New York and Black models: from Géricault to Matisse will be opening shortly at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

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