Barkley L. Hendricks - 20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session New York Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Project, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Artist Biography

    Barkley L. Hendricks

    American • 1945 - 2017

    An artist well ahead of his time, Barkley L. Hendricks radically embraced figuration in the 1960s—a time when abstraction ruled the global art world. It was whilst touring European museums that a young Hendricks was so taken aback by the lack of Black subjects in Old Master paintings that he embarked upon what is now his best known body of work: life sized portraits of Black and Latino men and women primarily from his native Philadelphia, depicted in contrapposto. The tonal subtleties and exquisite attention to light, fabric, and flesh in Hendrick’s portraits are utterly impressive, revealing Hendrick’s adoption of Old Master techniques with a Pop Art sensibility to render the full complexity of everyday people. In the commanding, towering presence and undeniable swagger of many of Hendricks’s subjects we recognize that very sense of cool detachment and defiant empowerment so characteristic of the artist’s revolutionary portraiture.

    A pioneer of post-war Black figuration, Hendricks paved the way for such artists as Kehinde Wiley and others. As Trevor Schoonmaker, the curator for Hendricks’ career retrospective in 2008, said in a nutshell, “His bold portrayal of his subject’s attitude and style elevates the common person to celebrity status. Cool, empowering, and sometimes confrontational, Hendricks’ artistic privileging of a culturally complex Black body has paved the way for today’s younger generation of artists.”

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signed, titled and numbered ""Michael" B. Hendricks 1/2" on the mount
silver gelatin print
image diameter 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
mount 14 x 8 in. (35.6 x 20.3 cm)

Executed circa 1971, this work is number 1 from an edition of 2.

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $8,820

Contact Specialist

Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York

1 212 940 1250

20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session

New York 8 December 2020