The inimitable Barkley L. Hendricks might have birthed the cool back in the 1970s, but that doesn’t mean that his influence is any less palpable in fall 2011. Vogue‘s August issue has a fashion spread, “Mixed Media,” inspired by the artist, mimicking devices found in many of his paintings. From monochromatic backgrounds, oriental carpets, a barely visible Coke can, carefully styled afros, and a focus on accessories—including sunglasses, shoes and nail polish—the current fashion layouts echo those in Hendricks paintings. Defying their era, each decades’ models lounge effortlessly in various states of repose, their bold patterned outfits and bent legs just some of their alluring commonalities.
From Jackie Sha-La-La (Jackie Cameron) to Bid ‘Em In/Slave (Angie), Swann’s African-American Fine Art auctions have featured Hendricks’ striking and captivating stylish women. The upcoming October 6th sale includes the largest of his canvases to come to auction with Twins, a 1977 diptych, that is also the first of Hendricks’ “white on white” paintings at auction. Despite the limited color palette, Hendricks use of tonality remains constant, with varying degrees of change between the outfit and the background.
Barkley L. Hendricks, Twins, oil and acrylic on canvas, 1977. Estimate: $100 to $150,000. At auction October 6, 2011.