Robinson and Barkley Art in Black

Bitter by Frank D Robinson
Bitter by Frank D Robinson

I just wanna shout out other Artist who help to create the legacy in
African Art in America.

Frank D. Robinson Jr. is a modern day griot, telling stories of our migration through life via his art. He painstakingly documents our journeys through life, love and struggle in his haunting, surreal work. Robinson demonstrates a strong sense of place in his work- whether a place in time, physical location or metaphorical place. With this focus on location, Robinson forces us to examine what is truly home and the different routes we take to arrive there. Each piece is a meditation on history, love and struggle. Look closely- what you find in his work is what you find in life. Robinson transforms the lowliest of objects-our invisibles- soda can tabs, broken mirrors, buttons, tokens, lost jewelry- and elevates them to urban artifacts. By elevating the everyday object, Robinson makes art that is both accessible and intricate. Robinson’s art defies the confines of staid canvases, showing up on bottles, guitars, rocking chairs or boards- wherever the spirit of the art demands. Robinson weaves together a vibrant tapestry of the varied expression of African American culture. His work reflects the many faces of the people of the African Diaspora. Even images designed to hurt such as the mammy or gold-toothed thug are subverted into images to be admired for their beauty and strength.

A native of Memphis, TN, Robinson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in 1993, 1998 earned a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing and a subsequent MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. Robinson’s work has been exhibited at Nike, Schering Plough, Nippon Steel and the Museum of Science and Industry.

by Barkley L. Hendricks
by Barkley L. Hendricks

Barkley L. Hendricks (born 1945, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a contemporary American painter who has made pioneering contributions to black portraiture and conceptualism. While he has worked in a variety of media and genres throughout his career (from photography to landscape painting), Hendricks’ best known work takes the form of life-sized painted oil portraits. In these portraits, he attempts to imbue a proud, dignified presence upon his subjects, most frequently urban people of color. Hendricks’ work has been noted as unique for its matrimony of both American realism and post-modernism.

Hendricks earned his certificate at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Yale University. Currently, he serves as a professor of art at Connecticut College.
Hendricks’ work can be viewed in many public institutions, including the National Gallery of Art, the Chrysler Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. Hendricks’ first career painting retrospective, titled Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool, with works dating from 1964 to present, was organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in spring 2008, and is traveling on to the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.


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