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Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool

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Uploaded on Feb 12, 2009

A documentary on the show 'Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool' at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. February 7th- July 13th 2008.

Hendricks was born in Philadelphia in 1945, studied at and received his certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and earned his bachelors and masters degrees in fine arts from Yale University. He is a professor of art at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., where he has been teaching since 1972.

Hendricks made his mainsteam museum debut at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the 1971 show, Contemporary Black Artists in America, and the Studio Museum in Harlem organized his first major solo show in 1980. In 1994, his work was part of the Whitneys Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art. In 2001, a large solo show, The Barkley L. Hendricks Experience, was organized by the Lyman Allyn Museum of Art, New London, Conn

Hendrickss oil portrait of Fela Kuti was an important new work in the 2003 New Museum exhibition, Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, also curated by Schoonmaker. And in 2005, Hendricks work was included in Back to Black -- Art, Cinema and the Racial Imaginary at Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.

His work is represented in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Chrysler Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Nasher Museum.

Barkley Hendricks has always been ahead of his time, Schoonmaker said. His work touches upon many of the movements of the 60s and 70s - pop art, photorealism, minimalism, black nationalism - but he has always done his own thing and avoided easy categorization. His ground-breaking work is as fresh today as it was 30 and 40 years ago and a generation of young artists is deeply indebted to him.

Video Credits:
Video work- David Colagiovanni
Special Thanks to- Barkley L. Hendricks, Susan Hendricks, Rick Powell, Trevor Schoonmaker, and Wendy Hower Livingston
Music By: Kevin McLeod

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