African American portrait paintings - Sedrick Huckaby
Sedrick Huckaby, "Study of the Huckabys," 2020, oil on canvas, 14h x 48w in

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects ​(New York) is presenting “​Faith Family Legacy​,” a two-person exhibition of Letitia and Sedrick Huckaby. Letitia shows photographic images printed on fabric and Sedrick shows painted portraits installed together in groups along with etchings. Letitia and Sedrick are married and both embrace a social dimension in their work. This is Sedrick’s second exhibition at the gallery, the first being ​”99%” ​in 2017.

Holland Cotter wrote in the NY Times about Sedrick’s 2017 exhibition at SHFAP:

His small oil-on-canvas head-shot paintings of family members are as texturally dense and detail-specific as ancient Egyptian Fayum portraits. In his dozens of lithographic likenesses of hometown friends — he likened the series to a patchwork quilt — the sitters, accompanied by conversational quotations, look casually but distinctly regal. Symbolism enters the work in a paint-caked sculptural tableau about the plague of black incarceration, but politics is really there throughout the exhibition, which feels like a completely realized act of civic and familial devotion.

African American portraits - Sedrick Huckaby
Sedrick Huckaby, “The Bridges,” 2020, oil pastel on paper, 14 1/2h x 24w in

For ​Sedrick Huckaby,​ the African American family and its heritage has been the content of his work for several years. “In large scale portraits of family and friends I try to aggrandize ordinary people by painting them on a monumental scale.”

In the current exhibition he shows small-scale figure groups installed on shelves. Two of the groups involve a juxtaposition of two families who share the name Huckaby, one of Scottish origin along with Sedrick and Leticia’s African American family.

This intermingled juxtaposition of black and white was a core element of the couple’s monumental community mural “End Racism Now” painted on the streets of Fort Worth in summer of 2020.

African American portrait paintings - Sedrick Huckaby
Sedrick Huckaby, “The Huckaby Ladies,” 2019, oil pastel on paper, 20h x 45w in.

Sedrick Huckaby was born in 1975 in Fort Worth, Texas. His formal education in art started at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, where he studied with two excellent painters: Ron Tomlinson and Jack Barnett. He then transferred to Boston University and received his BFA in1997. At Boston, he received extensive academic training in studio art. For graduate studies, Sedrick went to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, graduating with an MFA in 1999. There he immersed himself in the notion that “art is about ideas.” He expanded his conceptual horizons in art and art history. After graduating with his MFA, Huckaby used a traveling grant he received from Yale to explore France, Italy, and Spain for two years. It was during this time in Europe that Sedrick said he came to “appreciate the Old Masters,” understanding the difference in the social conditions of art production between the present and the past. After his European residency, Huckaby settled back in his home town of Fort Worth, Texas where he has continued to make art until the present day.

African American portrait paintings - Sedrick Huckaby
Sedrick Huckaby, “Huckaby Gentlemen,” 2019, oil pastel on paper, 19 1/2h x 31w in

Sedrick Huckaby has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including a Guggenheim award, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, and a Lewis Comfort Tiffany Award. Most recently he was named the Texas State Artist for 2018. His works are in the collections of American Embassy in Namibia, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, African American Museum, Dallas, Texas; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; and the Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas. Sedrick is married to artist Letitia Huckaby and is the father of three children, Rising Sun Huckaby, Halle Lujah Huckaby, and Rhema Rain Huckaby.

Letitia Huckaby ​describes her work as a time capsule of the African American experience. “I am always looking at how the past relates to the present and whether or not things have changed or remain the same. There is always a history built into the pieces, whether through process or actual materials … I am a photographer at heart, each piece starts with an image and progresses from there. The images are printed on cotton fabrics, hand stitched together into traditional African American quilting patterns and finished as quilts, dresses, sacks, or framed quilt tops. I love pushing the boundaries of photography by using a traditional practice in an untraditional way and hopefully creating a new visual language.”

African American portraits - Letitia Huckaby
Letitia Huckaby, “Frederick,” 2012, pigment prints on fabric, 60h x 38 1/2w in

Letitia relates her history:

“After studying and earning degrees in both journalism and photography some of my first works were naturally photojournalistic. A voyeur documenting the lives of others, but with the loss of my father, I became interested in doing more personal work. For the first time I turned the camera on myself and my family. The results have been an exploration of my own family history and my African American heritage. Also the change in perspective has caused me to shift from the life of a photojournalist to a more impassioned contemporary artist interested in personal expression, history and culture.

“The basic premise behind my work is faith, family, and legacy. It is a time capsule for the African American experience. I often use heirloom fabrics, and I think that is why so many people can relate to my work.”

Letitia Huckaby obtained her Master’s degree from the University of North Texas in 2010. She exhibited as an emerging artist at the Dallas Contemporary, the Galveston Arts Center, Renaissance Fine Art in Harlem curated by Deborah Willis, PhD, the McKenna Museum in New Orleans, the Camden Palace Hotel in Cork City, Ireland, the Texas Biennial at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum and the Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna, Austria. Her work is included in several prestigious collections; the Library of Congress, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, and the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Letitia has participated in the Brandywine residency and a residency in Gee’s Bend Alabama with the Gee’s Bend quilters. Letitia Huckaby resides in Benbrook, TX with her husband, Sedrick Huckaby, and their three children.

African American portraits - Letitia Huckaby
Letitia Huckaby, “A’Riyah,” 2012, pigment prints on fabric, 32 1/2h x 52w in

The exhibition continues through December 12, 2020​. For more details about “Faith Family Legacy,” please visit shfap.com.


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