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Barkley L. Hendricks, ‘Lawdy Mama’, 1969, Brooklyn Museum
Barkley L. Hendricks, ‘Lawdy Mama’, 1969, Brooklyn Museum
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Lawdy Mama, 1969

Oil and gold leaf on canvas
53 3/4 × 36 1/4 in
136.5 × 92.1 cm
Location
Brooklyn
About the work
Exhibition history
Provenance
Medium
Painting
Image rights
© Barkley L. Hendricks. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Barkley L. Hendricks
American, 1945–2017
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Barkley L. Hendricks’ socially charged work has spanned drastically diverse cultural climates, from the Black Power movement of the 1960s through the election of the United States’ first black president. While touring European museums in the ’60s, a 21-year-old Hendricks was so stricken by the lack of black presence in paintings of the Old Masters that he began his now best known work: life-sized paintings of urban black men (originally subjects from his hometown of Philadelphia) in empowered, classical depictions. Hendricks became a pioneer of black portraiture that pairs art history with questions of personal identity and cultural heritage, championed today by artists like Kehinde Wiley. Though primarily a painter, Hendricks credits photography as a key to his practice, which he studied under Walker Evans and often uses as reference to create his stunning, photorealistic portraits.

Barkley L. Hendricks, ‘Lawdy Mama’, 1969, Brooklyn Museum
Barkley L. Hendricks, ‘Lawdy Mama’, 1969, Brooklyn Museum
Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
Share
Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
Share
About the work
Exhibition history
Provenance
Medium
Painting
Image rights
© Barkley L. Hendricks. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Barkley L. Hendricks
American, 1945–2017
Follow

Barkley L. Hendricks’ socially charged work has spanned drastically diverse cultural climates, from the Black Power movement of the 1960s through the election of the United States’ first black president. While touring European museums in the ’60s, a 21-year-old Hendricks was so stricken by the lack of black presence in paintings of the Old Masters that he began his now best known work: life-sized paintings of urban black men (originally subjects from his hometown of Philadelphia) in empowered, classical depictions. Hendricks became a pioneer of black portraiture that pairs art history with questions of personal identity and cultural heritage, championed today by artists like Kehinde Wiley. Though primarily a painter, Hendricks credits photography as a key to his practice, which he studied under Walker Evans and often uses as reference to create his stunning, photorealistic portraits.

Lawdy Mama, 1969

Oil and gold leaf on canvas
53 3/4 × 36 1/4 in
136.5 × 92.1 cm
Location
Brooklyn
Other works from Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties
Other works by Barkley L. Hendricks