Sisters (Susan and Toni) (Primary Title)
"I was inspired by the masters and how they painted, but there was an absence of people I could recognize." —Barkley Hendricks
Although well known to aficionados of realist painting and those within the African American art world, Hendricks’swork long eluded wider recognition because his style, for most of his career, ran counter to the prevailing trends of abstraction, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Postminimalism.
Hendricks’s portraits feature everyday people, most often friends and family. Generally he places a single figure, built up with thin translucent layers of oil paint, against a single-color background painted with acrylics. Sisters (Susan and Toni) is a rare example of a double portrait. This painting of two stylish women Hendricks met in Boston belongs to a series of works with dark backgrounds, against which the bright shirts and jewelry pop.
Barkley L. Hendricks: Oils, Watercolors, Collages, and Photographs, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, January 20 – March 30, 1980
The Southern New England Invitational Art Exhibition 1978, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
Campbell, Mary Schmidt. Barkley L. Hendricks: Oils, Watercolors, Collages, and Photographs. New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1980. Exhibition catalogue. (Np).
 See exhibition checklist in Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool (Durham: Nasher Museum of Art, 2008).
 Jack Shainman Gallery has represented the artist since 2009 (www.jackshainman.com).
 Accession date May 26, 2010.
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