Portrait of a man in a yellow unitard with his right leg and arms extended to the side.

Barkley L. Hendricks (American, 1945–2017)
Woody, 1973
Oil and acrylic on canvas
66 × 84 in. (167.6 × 213.4 cm)
Baz Family Collection
© Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


This is one of the earliest of the paintings Hendricks described as having a “limited palette”—works in which the figure (except for the skin) and background are presented nearly monochromatically. The varnished oil paint used for the figure contrasts with the matte acrylic of the background to create a distinction in materials and surface visible only when the paintings are viewed firsthand. Striking one of the most dramatic poses of any of Hendricks’s figures, the subject was recently identified by Richard J. Powell as Woodruff (Woody) Wilson, a dancer of Jamaican descent who participated in the American Dance Festival that took place at Connecticut College, where Hendricks had begun teaching the previous year.

  532 — Speaker: Antwaun Sargent
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