Barkley L. Hendricks: solid!
Artbook /D.A.P

Barkley L. Hendricks: solid!

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Barkley L. Hendricks is rightly known as one of the foremost American painters of the late 20th century. His six-decade artistic oeuvre encompasses not only portraits but also includes evocative landscapes, hard-edged geometric abstractions, lush watercolors on paper and singular photographs informed by his studies with Walker Evans. This final publication of a five-volume set dedicated to the artist is a 300-page monograph that captures his full evolution as a portraitist.
Solid! is a compilation of Hendricks’ acclaimed figurative paintings: large-scale canvases of distinctively dressed (or undressed) individuals, including several self-portraits, against solid-color backgrounds. Critical essays from curators and fellow artists provide further, often personal, insight into all aspects of Hendricks’ practice: probing his photographic experimentation as a forbear to contemporary street photography; celebrating his sensitivity as a colorist whose unique expertise seamlessly combines oil-based and water-based pigments; and highlighting the observational genuineness in his provocative and personal interpretations of women, of unapologetically visible queer identities and of his own beloved Black communities across the African Diaspora. The book closes with a conversation between Trevor Schoonmaker and Barkley’s widow, Susan Hendricks, in which she recounts their trips to Jamaica and Barkley’s process for creating landscape and fruit paintings outdoors.
Barkley L. Hendricks (1945–2017) was born in Philadelphia and trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Yale. His life-size paintings of everyday Black Americans have inspired generations of artists. Hendricks gave up painting in favor of photography, but returned to oil portraits later in life. He taught at Connecticut College from 1972 until 2010.

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