DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is pleased to announce Barkley Hendricks as the seventeenth recipient of the prestigious Rappaport Prize, an annual award of $25,000 given to an established contemporary artist with strong connections to New England. The Rappaport Prize is among the most generous awards of its kind in the region. In 2010, the Rappaport Prize was endowed in perpetuity by the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation, assuring the ongoing support of contemporary art and artists in New England.
“We are honored to award the 2016 Rappaport Prize to Barkley Hendricks,” notes John B. Ravenal, Executive Director of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. “His work is beautiful, thought-provoking, and culturally relevant. His strong connection to New England as a longstanding resident of New London, started while as a student at Yale and led to a nearly forty year career as a professor at Connecticut College.”
Hendricks stated upon being awarded the prize, “A big thank you to deCordova for this award. I feel honored to be the recipient of the Rappaport Prize. I am proud of my relationship with John Ravenal and Jennifer Gross; deCordova is lucky to have two hip people at the lead.”
Known primarily as a figurative painter, Hendricks has also worked in photography throughout his nearly five-decade-long career. His work most often includes portraits of ordinary people he has encountered on the street and in his life against backgrounds of flat color. In Photo Bloke (2016), Hendricks presents an African-American man dressed in a startlingly intense pink suit, laid against a pink background, his dark face and hands offset by a bleached white shirt and shoes. Hendricks has always experimented with the format of his canvases, sometimes rotating them to hang as a diamond shape or through using multiple small canvases to bring disparate images together to create a larger composition. In many of his recent works, Hendricks created these juxtapositions to encourage reconsideration of current events and the media’s polarizing coverage of race relations in America. In the painting, In the Crosshairs of the States, the artist provocatively paired an image of the Confederate flag with a black man wearing a grey hoodie with his arms up and a sniper-like red laser dot on his forehead. Through the creation of images such as this, Hendricks aspires to redirect the current political and cultural conversation in order to destigmatize black culture and reclaim its representation.
The public is invited to attend the Rappaport Prize Lecture with Barkley Hendricks on Wednesday, October 26 at 6:30pm at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. Admission is free.
About the Artist
Born in Philadelphia in 1945, Barkley Hendricks lives and works in New London, Connecticut. Hendricks earned a Certificate from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and a BFA and MFA from Yale University, New Haven. He has served as Professor Emeritus of Studio Art at Connecticut College since 1972. His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Menil Collection, Houston; and Tate Modern, London, among many others. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions around the world, including a 2008 survey of his work, entitled Birth of the Cool, which traveled to five museums throughout the country. In 2010, Hendricks received the Amistad Center for Art & Culture President’s Award and in 2008 he received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award.
About the Rappaport Prize
Since its inception in 2000, the Rappaport Prize has been an investment in both an individual and the broader art community. Founded and funded by the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation, the Rappaport Prize follows the Foundation’s mission of promoting leadership in public policy, medical research, and art. Endowed at and selected annually by deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Rappaport Prize supports artists while educating the public about developments in American contemporary art.
The prize celebrates the achievement and potential of an artist who has demonstrated significant creativity and vision, and encourages the recipient to continue in a career of innovative art making. Together, deCordova and the Rappaport Foundation hope to create a community of accomplished artists whose careers have been enhanced by the recognition of the Rappaport Prize. In 2010, the Rappaport Foundation endowed the prize, ensuring its continuation in perpetuity.
Past Rappaport Prize Winners
2015 Matt Saunders
2014 Liz Deschenes
2013 Ann Pibal
2012 Suara Welitoff
2011 Orly Genger
2010 Liza Johnson
2009 Dave Cole
2008 Ursula von Rydingsvard
2007 Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
2006 Abelardo Morell
2005 Sarah Walker
2004 Debra Olin
2003 John Bisbee
2002 Lars-Erik Fisk
2001 Annee Spileos Scott
2000 Jennifer Hall
Related Public Programming
Rappaport Prize Lecture with Barkley Hendricks
Wednesday October 26, 6:30 pm
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, MA 01773