January 15, 2021

Mickalene Thomas, Better Nights, 2019

Friday feels, as encapsulated by Sandra Bush, the mother of fêted American artist Mickalene Thomas. This Polaroid was one of several taken by Bush during happenings at her home in the late seventies—the inspiration behind Thomas’s 2019 Bass Museum exhibition, Better Nights. The immersive art experience saw Thomas create a seventies-style home setting to exhibit her paintings in, alongside work by her friends and contemporaries. “The 1970s Black Radical Aesthetic… created a lot of joy,” Thomas told Charlotte Jansen in Elephant Issue 42. “Everything that was happening at that time—from the ongoing Civil Rights Movement, to the Black Panthers, to Black is Beautiful—was about self-identifying and people taking full agency of themselves, creating these collectives and uprisings… It was a really fierce moment.”

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