Barkley Leonnard Hendricks, an African American painter who works in oils and acrylics, was born in Philadelphia. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1963 to 1967 and at Yale University's School of Fine Arts from 1970 to 1972. Hendricks began exhibiting his realist portraits during the 1970s and has continued to do so; his work was featured in a large exhibition, "Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art," held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994. His paintings often portray life-size figures, painted in precise detail and silhouetted against a flat monochrome field. While his figures are distinctively specific, they are isolated in an ambiguous space, enhancing the force of their personal presence. Hendricks has taught painting and drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Yale University and is currently on the faculty of Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.
[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion to the 1993 videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art.]