“I’ve always been interested in masking, layering, dressing up and beautifying yourself and what that meant to black women,” the artist Mickalene Thomas told the New York Times in 2009. “I’ve always wanted to make things that I haven’t seen before.” And so, with her distinctive technique of combining photographs, film stills, and paint, Thomas creates unique pop-culture paradigms. In “Femmes Noires,” influences run from Manet’s odalisques to the photography of James Van Der Zee and Malick Sibidé. This online exhibition is elegantly presented in book form. —E.C.
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