Barkley L. Hendricks: Basketball Text by Terry Myers.


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The court, the ball and the hoop: Barkley Hendricks paints basketball

The third installment in Skira and Jack Shainman Gallery’s five-volume overview of American artist Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) explores the artist’s relationship to basketball, which provided a significant source of artistic inspiration throughout his life.

In his Basketball series, Hendricks applied his keen compositional sense and stylish use of color to depictions of the sport’s essential elements: hoops, nets, backboards and, of course, basketballs themselves. In one painting, the image of a basketball about to make its way into a hoop is repeated twice on a round canvas; on another circular canvas, the iconic black ribs of a basketball are rendered in a bold orange to create a minimalistic yet instantly recognizable pattern.

A study in movement and geometry, Hendricks’ paintings offer a uniquely compelling perspective on the sport as an artistic pursuit. This book’s focus on this aspect of Hendricks’ work allows for a detail-oriented study of the artist’s techniques as a painter.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Barkley L. Hendricks: Basketball.'


New York Times

Martha Schwendener

A celebration of both sport and community, paintings like “Still Life #5” (1968), with an isolated orange basketball against a white backboard, or the backboard-triptych “Father, Son, and …” (1969) also contain a sly humor, playing against the geometric abstraction of Western modernism and Christian religious paintings.