We could never tire of praise for Barkley L. Hendricks. This week, the College Art Association honored Barkley with an Award for Distinguished Body of Work. Congratulations, Barkley!
Barkley’s painting retrospective opened here at the Nasher Museum in February 2008. For visitors, his luscious, full-length portraits quickly become real people; they seemed on the verge of stepping down from the walls at any moment. It was like a very cool party, and you hoped to be invited. “Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool” travels to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston later this month.
From the press release:
Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work
Emory Douglas and Barkley L. Hendricks
Emory Douglas and Barkley L. Hendricks have long challenged the art world’s boundaries and received definitions in different but historically important ways. While working on opposite coasts and in different mediums, they transformed how African Americans saw themselves, and how they were seen. Emerging during the mid-1960s at a time of intense social upheaval, the two made work that was confrontational and incendiary, subversive and sly. While Douglas worked outside the confines of the art world as the Black Panther Party’s minister of culture, contributing to the Black Panther newspaper, Hendricks worked inside it without succumbing to the pressures and proscriptions against painting, particularly observational painting, and, to go one step further, portraiture.
IMAGE: Barkley L. Hendricks is rarely seen in public without his camera. Photo by Duke Photography.