Beginning in the early 1980’s, Hendricks began to explore other aesthetic interests, such as photography and assemblage sculpture. His passion for landscape painting began after his honeymoon in Jamaica in 1983. He returned annually to paint outdoors and capture mountain vistas, quarries, rivers and seascapes.

Hendricks painted his landscapes on site, challenging himself to produce each work in a period of several hours, confronted by the unpredictable elements of natural light, wind, and rain. Even though the landscapes depict specific locations, the canvases act as portals that invite reflection and escapism as they transport the viewer to another time and place. The round and oval formats continue an exploration of similar shapes seen in some of Hendricks’ earliest works. Here, the shaped canvas is surrounded by an ornate and gilded frame that is similar those of Italian Renaissance and Byzantine art and further demonstrate the artist’s interest in adornment, light, and reflection.

Jamaica’s rich history and prominent role in the African Diaspora connect the landscape paintings to Hendricks’ long-standing practice of painting the Black body. Like his portraits, Hendricks’ landscapes are very specific; they reflect locations that he strived to depict with great accuracy, rather than imaginary places or generalized types. In his pursuit of a traditional art form, he explored his interest in the history of painting, contributing to the revival of a realist landscape tradition.


  • Title: View from Behind the School
  • Creator: Barkley L. Hendricks
  • Creator Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Date Created: 2000
  • Location: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Physical Dimensions: 29 3/8 x 29 3/8 inches (74.6 x 74.6 cm)
  • Type: Painting
  • Publisher: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Rights: © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks
  • External Link: https://nasher.duke.edu/exhibitions/barkley-l-hendricks-works-collection/
  • Medium: Oil on linen
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Credit Line: Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

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