Published: April 21, 2015
Barkley L. Hendricks’ “Steve,” oil, acrylic and Magna on canvas, 1976, achieved a new record for the artist at $365,000.
NEW YORK CITY — Swann Galleries’ April 2 auction, Ascension: A Century of African-American Art, brought in nearly $2.4 million, led by six-figure prices for works by important artists, and setting several auction records along the way.
Nigel Freeman, director of African-American Fine Art at Swann, said, “We were thrilled with the results of this sale, which set new auction records for several artists, including Barkley L. Hendricks, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones, David C. Driskell, James C. McMillan, Marion Sampler and Thomas W. Hunster.”
The sale’s top lot was Hendricks’ “Steve,” an oil, acrylic and Magna on canvas from 1976, which went to an institution for $365,000. The previous record for a work by the artist — also set at Swann — was $144,000. The work embodies the look and attitude that Hendricks was well known for in his late 1970s life-size, stylish portraits that elevated the average Joe to near-celebrity status.
The artist received his first career retrospective in the touring exhibition, “Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool, Paintings 1964–2007,” that was organized by and debuted at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in 2008.
A complete report on the sale will appear in a future edition.
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