Beyond: A solo exhibition at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco

Curated by Lizetta LeFalle-Collins, Beyond was the inaugural exhibition at the newly remodeled Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. In works spanning various media, Thomas’s connections to her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother became a means to investigate the liminal space between life and death, mind and body, the personal and the political. Works in Beyond drew from a range of secular and religious traditions and utilized an array of nontraditional approaches to portraiture in a consideration of the corporeal limitations of existence.

Thomas draws our attention to a wide range of approaches to the body, making reference to Victorian funerary practices, the anatomical certainties of the modern-day operating table, and an emphasis on hair as a powerful signifier of identity. The artist’s recent series of digitally generated portraits of clouds suggests both the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and a vision of 21st century existence within a floating ‘cloud’ of data. Ultimately, Thomas uses our breadth of collective and individual physical experience as a point of departure from which to consider not only the world as we know it, but that which might lie beyond.
–Exhibition curator Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins