One of Barkley Hendricks’s earliest portraits, Lawdy Mama imbues the Black feminine form with integrity, while also alluding to Byzantine and medieval religious icons.
Painted at his studio on 1605 Race Street in Philadelphia, this groundbreaking portrait depicts Hendricks's second cousin Kathy Williams. Hendricks once remarked that the painting's "title was inspired by lyrics from the songbook of Nina Simone about 'sistas.'"
One of Hendricks's earliest portraits, "Lawdy Mama" was his first large-scale, gold-leaf painting—a tremendous feat for such a delicate material. Alluding to Byzantine and medieval religious icons, Hendricks elevates the Black figure to a subject worthy of veneration.
— 20 × 24 in.
This premium quality giclée print is printed on Somerset Enhanced 100% cotton watercolor paper and hand-finished with gold leaf detail.
Barkley L. Hendricks (1945–2017) Lawdy Mama, 1969 Oil and gold leaf on canvas 53 3/4 × 36 1/4 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Stuart Liebman, in memory of Joseph B. Liebman 1983.25
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