HENZEL STUDIO X MICKALENE THOMAS @ ROSSANA ORLANDI GALLERY, PORTO CERVO

HENZEL STUDIO X MICKALENE THOMAS @ ROSSANA ORLANDI GALLERY, PORTO CERVO

HENZEL STUDIO X MICKALENE THOMAS @ ROSSANA ORLANDI GALLERY, PORTO CERVO
HENZEL STUDIO is proud to announce the debut of a hand-knotted rug created in collaboration with American artist Mickalene Thomas. Designed in 2019, this is the second rug Henzel Studio has collaborated on with the artist. The rug will be on view at Rossana Orlandi, one of the most revered furniture galleries in the world. It is part of an exhibition at Orlandi’s summer outpost in Porto Cervo, Italy.

Titled Racquel Come to Me, the rug is adapted from a unique photo drawing collage created for specifically this project. The shape is irregular and free-form and combines visual elements that create a landscape of references from art history, popular culture and politics. Various levels of pile heights, carving and cutting techniques have been utilized to create an exquisite work of art. Each hand-made piece in the edition run is inherently unique due to the artisan practices used in the design’s 6-month making.

The nature of the media at hand, a hand knotted rug, is a natural complement to components utilized in Thomas’ immersive installations that utilize textiles, wallpaper, furniture and decor objects to reconstruct the 1970s domestic aesthetic that was formative to her visual narrative. Thomas’ work stems from her long study of art history and classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life. Inspired by various sources that range from the 19th century Hudson river school to Édouard Manet, Alice Neel, and Romare Bearden, she has created a true signature style and continues to explore notions of beauty from a contemporary perspective infused with the more recent influences of popular culture and pop art, redefining contemporary ideas of portraiture. In combining traditional genres with African American female subjects, Thomas makes a case for opening up the conventional parameters of art history and culture. Thomas’s layered process of fragmentation, in which she begins with a photographic portrait and moves to collage and then on to painting, is the result of discreet borrowings from our twenty-first century language of mass culture. Strategically placed objects in her photographs come into sharper relief during the collage stage as deliberately exposed tape and abrupt lines between forms frame our perspective, focusing us on the distinct cultural languages that she puts on view. Mickalene Thomas first rug for Henzel Studio, titled Candy Crush, was unveiled at Barneys NewYork Madison Avenue during Frieze Art Fair in 2014.

Mickalene Thomas
Henzel Studio Collaborations
Rossana Orlandi

Image: Mickalene Thomas, portrait by Lyndsy Welgos