Broad Buys Two Mickalene Thomases

Mickalene Thomas, Le Déjuner sur l'herbe les Trois Femmes Noires d'aprés Picasso, 2022. The Broad

The Broad has acquired two large mixed-media works by Mickalene Thomas. Le Déjuner sur l'herbe… (2022) was shown at Jeffrey Deitch's Hollywood gallery this spring, as part of an exhibition of contemporary artists' reactions to Manet's anti-salon machine. It's one of a series of Thomas' reinterpretations of the Manet, starting with a 2010 MoMA commission. The Broad picture, measuring 8 by 10 ft, is acrylic and rhinestone on canvas mounted on panel. 

Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Maya No. 10, 2017. The Broad

Executed in the same media, Portrait of Maya #10 (2017) was auctioned at Sotheby's in November 2021 for $528,200. 

Since Eli Broad's April 2021 death it has been unclear whether his Grand Ave. museum would continue to collect on a significant scale. Broad tended to buy multiple major works by artists he liked (who tended to be buzzy and market-validated). He never bought anything by Thomas, but these two works fit that template. Both are now on view.


Anonymous said…
Since Broad was interested in the regional scene, I couldn't figure out why he never bought a David Hockney. A matter of taste, price? The Britisher was too literal, not abstract enough? Personally, I like Hockney better than, say, Christopher Wool.

I also admit that I'd want to see this more than Thomas's canvases:

That audioanimatronic would also be a good fit for Orlando, France's Louvre World too. Maybe displayed as a meet-and-greet in Pei's pyramid? Come to think of it, the work would fit Paris's Pompidouland way better:
Why all the evils on some of the world's greatest collections? Louvre, Pompidou, Met?
What is your standard for an acceptable collection, and why?
Anonymous said…
I never understood why Eli Broad never bought a Hockney either considering the artist's association with LA.

On another topic, the Ahmanson Foundation just purchased a Vigée Le Brun painting for the Huntington Library. Another consequence of Michael Govan's foolish LACMA redesign.
Anonymous said…
> What is your standard for an acceptable collection, and why?

Actually, it's a matter of if one doesn't laugh, one has to cry. Of course, the Louvre and the other museums of Paris (most of relatively recent vintage, including the Musée d'Orsay from the 1980s) run circles around museums in other cities, including the ones in LA. However, the Louvre is so huge and packed with so many artworks, it makes a visitor (at least this one) feel like he or she is stuck in a room with a woman who loves wearing way too much perfume.

As for why I want to cry? Thanks to the poster above (and the article from the Times' art critic indicates he gets it), the Geffen/Govan/Zumthor overpass is a case of throwing caution to the wind: Smaller instead of larger, too many windows, a constantly rotating "permanent" collection and a bloated, red-ink-filled budget, etc. Regardless, at least the Huntington will be a better place to display Vigée Le Brun's work than at crammed Louvre World in Paris, Florida.
Anonymous said…
To be fair to Govan, after visiting a few of the museums in Paris, the physical and operational inadequacies of Pereira/Hardy-Holzman-Pfeiffer's LACMA became way too glaring and even embarrassing. But, as the cliche goes, you also don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Zumthor's overpass probably will be a TikTok sensation and - for the "art tends to bore me" visitor - a real crowd pleaser. So if Govan/Zumthor at least weren't busting LACMA's budget (etc), I wouldn't be so apprehensive. Is that too much to want or ask or hope for?
Anonymous said…
"...Zumthor's overpass probably will be a TikTok sensation and - for the "art tends to bore me" visitor - a real crowd pleaser."

Suggesting that museums ought to build and program for visitors bored by art is...odd.
Anonymous said…
This is what contemporary "fauvism" looks like. It's very "in your face" --- dare I say garish.

Not a fan of her work, but it has good roots. Thomas is a grad of the Yale School of Art. She preceded Kaphar, Crosby, and Halsey. Her mentor there was David Hilliard, an artist whose work I like.