Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool

Exhibition Info
Curated by
Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art
The first career retrospective of Philadelphian and PAFA alumnus Barkley L. Hendricks, acclaimed for his life-sized portraits of people of color.

PAFA proudly presented the first career retrospective of Barkley L. Hendricks, a Philadelphia native and PAFA alumnus. Hendricks has received acclaim for his life-sized portraits of people of color. Having come of age in the Civil Rights era and the Black is Beautiful movement, Hendricks created cool, empowering, and sometimes confrontational images that explore the complexity of black identity.

During the course of the exhibition, Hendricks presented a public lecture and critiqued current students' work at PAFA. The exhibition was accompanied by an array of programs, a lecture by curator Trevor Schoonmaker, as well as a symposium.

The exhibition originated at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in 2008, curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, and then traveled to the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Following PAFA, the exhibition concluded at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.