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A painted portrait by art professor Barkley L. Hendricks graced the cover of the April edition of Artforum Magazine, and inside, Hendricks was the subject of an eight-page story and photo spread by noted art historian Huey Copeland.
"By turns extravagant and direct, the portraits Barkley L. Hendricks has made of his African-American friends and neighbors since the late 1960s variously recall the indolent nudes of Philip Pearlstein and the deadpan chic of David Hockney," the article begins. "But in these canvases and in other works-such as his series of landscapes freighted with Barbizon-school scrupulousness-the artist has sought modes of representing that go beyond the pursuit of likeness, gesturing toward abstraction, anamorphosis and anachronism."
Copeland says Hendricks portrays his subjects "not as protesters or victims or celebrities," but as "avatars of themselves who model a range of imaginary relations to dominant culture, from the merely dandyish to the queerly transgressive."
A traveling exhibition of Hendricks' work, "Birth of the Cool," was recently on display at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, where Hendricks was an artist-in-residence during the fall semester. The exhibition is also visiting the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas.