Archive for the 'Obituary' Category

RIP – Painter Joyce Pensato Has Passed Away at the Age of 78

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Joyce Pensato, Liza at Berlin (2009), via Petzel
Joyce Pensato, Liza at Berlin (2009), via Petzel

American painter Joyce Pensato, whose recurring cast of American pop icons and slurred, often disturbing renditions of familiar cartoon characters made her a standout of the late 20th Century New York downtown scene, has passed away at the age of 78. (more…)

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

Friday, 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. (more…)

RIP – Feminist Trailblazer Carolee Schneemann Has Passed Away at the Age of 79

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Carolee Schneeman, via Artist

Artist Carolee Schneemann, the artist whose work relentlessly challenged and reframed cultural discourses and taboos around sex, identity and gender, has died at the age of 79.

Portrait Partials, via Artist

Born in Philadelphia, Schneemann studied at Bard in New York, and would continually challenge assumptions regarding her gender as an artist, including a suspension from the school over painting nude self-portraits.  Schneeman would still graduate, and would move to New York, where she became involved in the city’s experimental arts scene.  Exploring performance works, she would challenge the viewer’s engagement with the female body, famously pulling a reel of text from her vagina to read aloud in public for her work Interior Scroll, while another performance, Up to and Including Her Limits suspended her naked from the ceiling of a gallery, swinging about to mark the walls with crayon.

Meat Joy, via Artist

Schneemann would continue to make challenging and confrontational work throughout her career, ultimately receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2017.  “I think I’m stubborn. In the beginning, I had no precedent for being valued,” she told the Guardian in 2015. “Everything that came from a woman’s experience was considered trivial. I wasn’t sure if my work would shift that paradigm or not, but I had to try.”

— D. Creahan
Read more:
Performance artist Carolee Schneemann dies aged 79 [Guardian]

RIP – Filmmaker Jonas Mekas Has Passed Away at the Age of 96

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Jonas Mekas in 1964, via NYT
Jonas Mekas in 1964, via NYT

Film-maker Jonas Mekas, a figure who loomed large in the New York cinematic landscape, and an artist widely considered the godfather of underground cinema, has died at the age of 96.  A founder of both the famed Film Culture magazine and the still operating Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan, his energetic engagement with all aspects of filmmaking helped to nurture the careers of filmmakers like John Waters and Jim Jarmusch, among others.  “Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early this morning,” the Film Archives wrote online. “He was at home with family. He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.” (more…)

RIP – Robert Morris, Pioneer of American Avant-Garde, Has Passed Away at 87

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Robert Morris, via NYT
Robert Morris, via NYT

Artist Robert Morris, a defining voice of American conceptualism, and a contributing force in the development of an American post-war avant-garde, has passed away at the age of 87. The artist, who embraced a complex and ever-shifting series of investigations into the production, elaboration and understanding of both the art object and its function in both exhibition and broader cultural modes, passed away after a battle with pneumonia.  


RIP – Enrico Castellani, Figurehead of the Italian Avant-Garde, Passes Away at Age 87

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Enrico Castellani, via Art Observed
Enrico Castellani, via Art Observed

Enrico Castellani, one of Europe’s pioneering avant-garde artists in the year’s following WWII, has passed away at the age of 87 in his home of Celleno, Italy, near Rome.  Castellani was a relentlessly inventive and creative painter, having worked closely with a number of groups and collectives including Cobra group, Group Zero, and the Neo-Concrete artists in Brazil.   (more…)

RIP: Vito Acconci Has Passed Away at the Age of 77

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Vito Acconi, via huffington post
Vito Acconi, via Huffington Post

Vito Acconci, the groundbreaking artist, architect and performer whose impact on the field of contemporary art counts among the most influential of the 20th Century, has passed away at the age of 77.  Acconci suffered a stroke this week, from which he did not recover.


RIP: Chinese Photographer Ren Hang Passes Away at 29

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Ren Hang, via Art Info
Ren Hang, via Art Info

Chinese photographer Ren Hang, known for his bold style and provocative nude images, has passed away at the age of 29 of an apparent suicide.  Hang was a self-taught photographer who drew frequent controversy in his home country for his unapologetic depictions of both male and female models, and had previously been arrested a number of times over his work.

Ren Hang, via CNN
Work by Ren Hang, via CNN


RIP – Arte Povera Artist Jannis Kounellis, Aged 80

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Jannis Kounellis, via Art Newspaper
Jannis Kounellis, via Art Newspaper

Greek-Italian Arte Povera pioneer Jannis Kounellis has passed away in Rome at the age of 80, according to the Italian Minister of Culture.  “It is a sad day, Kounellis has left us. A master, Italian by adoption, who left a mark on contemporary art,” Minister Dario Franceschini tweeted today. (more…)

RIP – François Morellet, Pioneer of Optical and Kinetic Art, at the Age of 90

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Francois Morellet, via Art Newspaper
Francois Morellet, via Art Newspaper

François Morellet, the pioneering French artist who explored interrelations of optical phenomena, light, space and performance, has passed away at the age of 90.   (more…)

RIP: Hilla Becher, Pioneer of German Photography, Passes Away at 81

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Hilla Becher, via Artforum
Hilla Becher, via Artforum

Hilla Becher, the influential German photographer who, alongside her husband Bernd, worked as a pioneer in the field of contemporary art photography, has passed away at the age of 81.   (more…)

R.I.P. Ingrid Sichy, International Editor of Condé Nast and Writer, 63

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Ingrid Sichy, International Editor of Condé Nast, former editor of Interview Magazine, and longtime contributor to Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, passed away late this week in New York City at the age of 63.  Sichy was a foundational chronicler of the New York avant-garde and modern fashion for nearly forty years, and was a fixture at openings and runway shows around the globe.  “She could write about anything, but what interested her most were art and fashion, and she traversed those two hothouses like a bemused empress,” says Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.  “She had a crisp mind and an almost uncanny focus when she sat down to write. She was a fun, conspiratorial gossip, but never with malice or envy — the working tools of so many gossips.” (more…)

Dorothee Fischer, Artist and Head of Konrad Fischer Gallery, Passes Away at 78

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Artist and dealer Dorothee Fischer, who headed the Konrad Fischer gallery in Düsseldorf, and advocated for artists like Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, and Blinky Palermo, has passed away at the age of 78.  Fischer’s tireless, focused work in conceptual and minimal art built a dedicated group of artists around her, and she in turn built an impressive collection of 250 works, alongside her gallery archives, both of which were purchased by the Kunststiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen for over $1 million.   (more…)

Chris Burden, Landmark Performance Artist and Sculptor, Passes Away at 69

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Chris Burden, via NY Times
Chris Burden, via NY Times

Chris Burden, the Californian performance art pioneer and sculptor, who consistently pushed the envelope of physical endurance and human capacities, passed away at home this weekend from a malignant melanoma.  He was 69. (more…)

Alfred Taubman, Former Sotheby’s Owner and Philanthropist, Passes Away at 91

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Alfred Taubman, via Detroit Free Press
Alfred Taubman, via Detroit Free Press

Alfred Taubman, the shopping mall developer and business mastermind who turned Sotheby’s from a private auction house to the publicly traded art market power it is today, has passed away at the age of 91.

Taubman earned his fortune during the years following World War II, re-engineering the American retail experience through his design and development of the modern shopping mall, and used his earnings to purchase Sotheby Parke Bernet for $130 million in 1983.  Within five years, Taubman had retooled its customer experience and sales strategies before taking the company public in 1988.   (more…)