Earth moves for African-Amer­i­cans

The Times (South Africa) - - ART - COLIN GLEADELL You Look Tonight, The Way © The Daily Tele­graph

ON THE in­vi­ta­tion card to Tate Mod­ern’s Art in the Age of Black Power, which opened last week in Lon­don, is a 1966 self-por­trait by Barkley L Hen­dricks, then aged 21, wear­ing just his shades and a Su­per­man T-shirt.

As with most black artists, Hen­dricks had a mar­ginal po­si­tion in the mar­ket dur­ing the pe­riod cov­ered by the ex­hi­bi­tion (1963-1983) and for years af­ter. But when he be­gan ex­hibit­ing with the trail­blaz­ing Jack Shain­man Gallery in New York in 2005, he be­gan to at­tract at­ten­tion, star­ring in the Nasher Mu­seum’s The Birth of the Cool ex­hi­bi­tion (2008), and at New York’s Swann Gal­leries’ auc­tions of African-Amer­i­can art, where his top price rose from $10 000 in 2008 to $365 000 in 2015.

Then, just af­ter he died ear­lier this year, three of his paint­ings broke the record at Sotheby’s sell­ing for up to $960 500 (about R12.5-mil­lion) for

in­spired by Re­nais­sance por­traits he had seen at the Uf­fizi in Florence.

Al­though Hen­dricks has only three works in this en­cy­clopaedic show, it ac­knowl­edges the tec­tonic shift that has been tak­ing place in the mar­ket for black Amer­i­can artists. —

SHADES OF MEAN­ING: Self-por­trait by Barkley L Hen­dricks, star of Art in the Age of Black Power

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.