RIP: Lutz Bacher, Relentless Pioneer of Various Forms and Processes, Has Died

May 17th, 2019


Lutz Bacher, via K21
Lutz Bacher, via K21

Artist Lutz Bacher, a relentless innovator whose works frequently defied easy categorization or understanding, has passed away.  The artist, who has long avoided releasing much biographical information about herself, was either 75 or 76 at the time of her death.

Bacher’s work was relentlessly challenging, frequently moving between stark political commentary and humorous repositioning of pre-existing graphical material to create new lines of inquiry and an energetic reshaping of cultural understandings.  She would critique and explode concepts of male violence, sexuality and the male gaze in works like her series of commissioned paintings of Playboy pinup illustrations, then turn towards video, filming and editing lengthy documentation videos like a depiction of her dealer, Pat Hearn, while simultaneously finishing up strange works like her Big Boy (1992) sculpture, a massive stuffed boy that recalls the trauma of sexual abuse in exchange with a certain degree of childhood innocence.

Lutz Bacher, Big Boy (1992), via Matthew Marks

Relentlessly defying classification and working against the grain most of her career, Bacher’s work has made her a long favorite among critics and artists, and her departure leaves a unique hole in the fabric of the city’s arts community.

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Artist Lutz Bacher, Whose Work About Violence, Intimacy, and Memory Resisted Categorization, Is Dead [Art News]