The late Professor Emeritus of Studio Art Barkley L. Hendricks considered New York’s The Frick Collection—with its iconic portraits by Rembrandt, Bronzino, Van Dyck, and others—to be one of his favorite museums.
Next fall, Hendricks’s own paintings, which revolutionized contemporary portraiture with their vivid depictions of everyday Black Americans, will hang alongside the work of the European greats in the first solo show dedicated to an artist of color in the Frick’s 87-year history.
“Hendricks’s astonishing portraits of predominantly Black figures, not represented in the Frick’s historic paintings yet who, with their self-assured style, appear right at home among them, grants unprecedented opportunities to celebrate and explore the Frick’s collection, Hendricks’s groundbreaking innovations, and the bridges between them,” said Frick curator Aimee Ng, who is organizing the show along with consulting curator Antwaun Sargent.
The exhibition will open in September 2023 in the museum’s temporary space, Frick Madison, and will feature about a dozen of Hendricks’s large-scale paintings drawn from private and public collections. Along with the exhibition, Hendricks’s art and its impact will be further explored through a richly illustrated exhibition catalogue with contributions by artists and creative figures, including Derrick Adams, Nick Cave, Awol Erizku, Jeremy O. Harris, Rashid Johnson, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Fahamu Pecou, and Kehinde Wiley. The Frick will also offer a robust roster of educational public programs to complement the show, which will consider the complex place of European painting in Hendricks’s art and how his work, in turn, continues to inspire major artists and designers today.
“Presenting Hendricks’s art at a storied institution like the Frick pays due tribute to the historic significance of Barkley L. Hendricks, and it also honors the evolving role of the Frick in modern American culture,” said Sargent.
Barkley L. Hendricks
Self-Portrait with Black Hat, 1980–2013
Digital C-print 27 3/4 x 18 3/4 inches
Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
© Barkley L. Hendricks
Courtesy of the Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks, The Frick Collection, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York