previews

Los Angeles

“Mickalene Thomas: The Origin of the Universe”

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Bergamot Station G1 2525 Michigan Avenue
April 14–August 18

Curated by Lisa Melandri

A kind of visual Vagina Monologues, Mickalene Thomas’s “The Origin of the Universe” will take as its starting point two images that even today are most often kept behind closed doors, metaphoric or literal: Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du monde, 1866, and Marcel Duchamp’s Étant donnés, 1946–66. Thomas is known for paintings and collages that combine garish multi- patterned and beglittered decors, art- historical echoes and references, and racial and sexual debate, and here she will premiere more than a dozen paintings, conceived as a suite for the occasion, as well as her own reimagining of Duchamp’s infamous installation. In its juicy yet venerated content, this exhibition seems both a logical and a daring next step.