Medium
Image rights
The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Stuart Liebman, in memory of Joseph B. Liebman 1983.25 ©Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist …

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.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Selected exhibitions
2019
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983The Broad
2018
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black PowerBrooklyn Museum
2017
Regarding the FigureThe Studio Museum in Harlem
View all

Lawdy Mama, 1969

Oil and gold leaf on canvas
53 3/4 × 36 1/4 in
136.5 × 92.1 cm
Location
New York
Medium
Image rights
The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Stuart Liebman, in memory of Joseph B. Liebman 1983.25 ©Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist …

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.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Regarding the Figure
Other works by Barkley L. Hendricks
Related artists
Brenda Zlamany
Patrick Kramer