Rather than depicting women who affirm that two-dimensional trope, these works showcase Black women with fully developed personalities who fully experience lived emotions.

According to the gallery’s website, the exhibit “Beyond Mammy, Jezebel, & Sapphire: Reclaiming Images of Black Women” features work from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation curated jointly by the InterDisciplinary Experimental Arts Space at Colorado College and the AMoA. Each work in the showcase unpacks the stereotypes of the angry, emasculating Sapphire, the overtly sexual Jezebel and the selflessly nurturing Mammy. In doing so, each idea is disproved in images.

Alexandria Museum of Art, Kara Walker, Beyond Mammy Jezebel & Sapphire, Mickalene Thomas, Alison Saar, African American Art, Black Art, Black Feminist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN“Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated): Cotton Hoards in Southern Swamp” | Kara Walker

Alexandria Museum of Art, Kara Walker, Beyond Mammy Jezebel & Sapphire, Mickalene Thomas, Alison Saar, African American Art, Black Art, Black Feminist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNLe Dejeuner sur l’herbe: les trois femmes noires, 2010 | Mickalene Thomas

Alexandria Museum of Art, Kara Walker, Beyond Mammy Jezebel & Sapphire, Mickalene Thomas, Alison Saar, African American Art, Black Art, Black Feminist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN“Delta Doo” | Alison Saar

Alexandria Museum of Art, Kara Walker, Beyond Mammy Jezebel & Sapphire, Mickalene Thomas, Alison Saar, African American Art, Black Art, Black Feminist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN“Indigo Blue (Sea Island Pure)” | Alison Saar



New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel. Thomas introduces a complex vision of what it means to be a woman and expands common definitions of beauty. Her work stems from her long study of art history and the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life.

Inspired by various sources that range from the 19th century Hudson River School to Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse and Romare Bearden, she continues to explore notions of beauty from a contemporary perspective infused with the more recent influences of popular culture and Pop Art.

She is represented by Lehmann Maupin in New York, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and Galerie nathalie obadia in paris. (Mickalene Thomas.com)


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KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.