At Jack Shainman, Barkley L. Hendricks Captures Moments in Time

NEW YORK—Known for his full-length portraits of African Americans whose stature, stance and 1970s and 80s threads define cool, Barkley L. Hendricks has a new show of works at Jack Shainman Gallery. “Heart, Hands, Eyes, Mind,” features photography, landscape and portrait paintings spanning 40 years of his practice. Most of the works are being exhibited for the first time.

Hendricks captures moments in time. The gallery describes his work thus: “Throughout his career, Hendricks has refused to be boxed into a space designed by an outside force or market, and, much like his subjects, his practice is commanding, bold and without limitations to media or to form. His chief concerns lie in the moment, both in capturing it and creating it. The paintings are a direct engagement with art history, the tradition of portraiture and a confrontation of institutional portrayal of the black subject. And while the severity of the subject’s gaze can be piercing, Hendricks invokes a persistent humor through the titling of his pieces, mitigating the gravity of the message and allowing for an opening into the work.”

Born in Philadelphia, Hendricks is based in New London, Conn. “Heart, Hands, Eyes, Mind,” his first solo show at Jack Shainman, is on view from Feb. 28 to April 6, 2013.

All photos © Arts Observer

Installation view, with “Self-Portrait” at right.

“Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool,” a large-scale traveling exhibition of the artist’s work, was on view at five museums between 2008 and 2010.

“Triple Portrait: World Conqueror,” 2011 (oil, aluminum leaf, variegation leaf, and combination gold leaf on cotton canvas).

Watch a video about the Birth of Cool exhibit, featuring Barkley L. Hendricks.

Installation view.

At the Swann Auction Galleries Feb. 14, 2013 sale of African American art, “The Hawk, Blah, Blah, Blah,” 1970 (oil and DayGlo on linen canvas) by Barkley L. Hendricks sold for $110,000 (plus a $22,000 buyer’s premium)—the highest sale price of the auction.

Photography is a significant part of Barkley L. Hendricks practice.

“Self-portrait,” 1977/1985 (c-print).

Trio of Self-portraits.

Detail of “Triple Portrait from the Yard.”

Installation view, with “Airport TV” at right.

“Airport TV.”


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