From May 10, 2023 to July 13, 2023, Galerie Lelong presents the luminous exhibition “Appel à la lumière” by African-American artist Mildred Thompson. The exhibition pays tribute to the city of Paris, nicknamed “the city of light“, where the artist lived and was inspired.
Born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1936, Mildred Thompson began her artistic career in 1953 when she attended Howard University in Washington DC. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1957, under the tutelage of James A. Porter, a pioneer in the field of art education. Porter, a pioneer of African-American art. The artist used various artistic techniques such as drawing, sculpture, photography, prints and painting to express her art.
The “Appel à la lumière” exhibition is a reminder of the African-American artist’s works on paper, which retrace twenty years of her life, from 1960 to 1980, spent in France and Germany. This period corresponds to the artist’s mid-career, marked by the luminous influence of the city of Paris on her unique visual language. The exhibition highlights Mildred Thompson’s own representations of light and energy, as well as works produced on her return to the United States.
Mildred Thompson’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including after her death in 2003 in Atlanta. In 2018, the 10th Berlin Biennale and the New Orleans Museum of Art hosted solo exhibitions dedicated to Mildred Thompson, whose works are also part of the permanent collections of the Harvard Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, among other institutions.
Thanks to a unique visual language influenced by her early years living and working in Paris, the African-American artist optimizes her artistic research, both conceptual and formal. This developmental process enables her to achieve excellence in her art, and to interpret with disconcerting precision the colors observed in the world around her.
The title of the exhibition, “Appel à la lumière“, is inspired by two small collages made by the artist, whose improvised, luminous tones perfectly illustrate the colorful perspective of his works.
Galerie Lelong will present a number of works by Mildred Thompson created during her stay in France, as well as those created on her return to the United States. In the first room, you’ll discover subtle drawings in prismatic colored pencil and watercolor, revealing the artist’s ongoing personal universe. Mildred Thompson’s sculptural work will also be on show in this room.
In the second room, you can admire works from Mildred Thompson’s “Radiation Explorations” and “Advancing Impulses” painting series. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover a dynamic and captivating array of colors, testifying to Mildred Thompson‘s personal and unique approach to abstract art.