CAA News Today

Recent Deaths in the Arts

posted by Christopher Howard — May 14, 2013

In its regular roundup of obituaries, CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, scholars, architects, photographers, filmmakers, publishers, and others whose work has significantly influenced the visual arts.

  • Les Blank, a documentary filmmaker whose Burden of Dreams (1982) chronicled the making of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, died on April 7, 2013. He was 77 years old. Blank also directed films on the musicians Lightning Hopkins, Dizzy Gillespie, and Clifton Chenier
  • Ellen Cantor, an artist and filmmaker known for her ongoing work Pinochet Porn, passed away on April 21, 2013. She was 51 years old
  • Bernard Cheese, a British painter, printmaker, and educator, died on March 15, 2013, at the age of 88. Cheese taught at Saint Martins School of Art (1950–68), Goldsmiths College (1970–78), and Central School of Art and Design, London (1980–89)
  • Les Coleman, a London-based artist, writer of aphorisms, and “all-around rare bird,” died on January 17, 2013. He was 67
  • Edward de Grazia, an American lawyer who fought censorship of Tropic of Cancer, Lysistrata, and The Naked Lunch, died on April 11, 2013, at age 86. De Grazia taught at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York for thirty years and was the author of Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius (1991)
  • Dominic Elliott, the personal assistant of the artist David Hockney, died on March 17, 2013. He was 23 years old
  • Nigel Glendinning, a scholar of Spanish art who was an expert on Francisco de Goya, passed away on February 23, 2013. He was 83 years old. Glendinning held various professorships and fellowships across the United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Sidney Goodman, a figurative painter and emeritus professor of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, passed away on April 11, 2013. He was 77
  • Regina Granne, an artist based in New York whose drawings demonstrated creative interpretations of feminism, war, and politics, died on January 26, 2013. She was teaching most recently at Parsons the New School for Design
  • Jene Highstein, a Postminimalist sculptor whose work was shown internationally, passed away on April 27, 2013, at the age of 70. Highstein was involved in the fabled exhibition space 112 Greene Street in the 1970s
  • Jack Jaeger, a Dutch artist and curator known for coediting eight issues of ZAAP, a quarterly VHS video-art magazine, from 1994 to 1996, died on March 15, 2013. Born in 1937, he also worked as a cameraman, producer, director, and editor of television commercials and films
  • L. Brent Kington, a professor of metalsmithing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1961 to 1997 and former chairperson of its School of Art and Design, died on February 7, 2013, at age 78. A retrospective of his career, L. Brent Kington, Mythic Metalsmith, toured the United States from 2007 to 2011
  • Martyl Langsdorf, the artist who created the Doomsday Clock image that symbolized the dangers of nuclear power during the Cold War, died on March 26, 2013. She was 96 years old
  • Bert Long, a former chef who left the kitchen to become an artist, passed away on February 1, 2013, at age 72. The Houston-based Long, considered an outsider artist by some, won an NEA grant in 1987 and the Prix de Rome in 1990
  • Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, a Russian artist and gay-rights icon, died in March 2013 at the age of 43. Known for his impersonations of Marilyn Monroe, Mamyshev-Monroe emerged as a performing and video artist in Saint Petersburg in the late 1980s
  • Rick Mather, an American architect based in London who designed extensions to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, among other institutions, died on April 20, 2013, at age 75
  • Walter Pierce, an American architect who designed the modernist houses of Peacock Farm, a subdivision in Lexington, Massachusetts, passed away on February 27, 2013. He was 93 years old
  • Joe N. Prince, director of education for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1977 to 1985, died on February 23, 2013, at age 75. He also served as special assistant to the agency’s chairman for two years
  • Ganesh Pyne, an Indian artist who was called the “painter of darkness” for his fantastical imagery in watercolor, gouache, and tempera, died on March 12, 2013, at age 76. Among his his influences ranged from the Bengal school of art (a forerunner to Indian modernism) to his personal experience as a child witnessing the Kolkata riots
  • Daniel Reich, an unconventional art dealer based in New York, died on December 25, 2012. He was 39 years old
  • Martin Rogers, a British printer, sculptor, and publisher who founded the Small Publishers Fair in London, has died. He was 61 years old
  • Dorothy Sanders, a philanthropist who founded the Milwaukee Art Museum’s African-American Art Acquisition Committee, passed away on February 13, 2013. She was 96
  • James Schell, an Atlanta artist and illustrator whose works were published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Sunday magazine, died on January 6, 2013, at age 94. He was the art director for Kirkland White and Schell Advertising, which he helped establish
  • Shozo Shimamoto, a Japanese artist who was a member of the Gutai group, died on January 25, 2013, at the age of 85
  • Merton D. Simpson, a painter, collector, and dealer in African art, died on March 9, 2013, at the age of 84. Simpson founded his gallery of African and tribal art in 1954, and his artwork became politicized in the early 1960s after joining the Spiral group, which counted Romare Bearden and Hale Woodruff among its members
  • Paolo Soleri, the innovative architect of an ecologically minded city in the Arizona desert called Arcosanti, passed away on April 9, 2013. He was 93
  • Jack Stokes, the animation director of the Beatles’ film Yellow Submarine, died on March 20, 2013. He was 92. Stokes also worked on titles and inserts for Magical Mystery Tour
  • Clinton Darlington Swingle, who oversaw the purchase, preservation, and restoration of the Fabric Workshop and Museum’s building in Philadelphia, died on January 27, 2013. He was 84
  • Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, a Mexican architect who combined modern and Precolumbian forms, died on April 16, 2013, at age 94. His best-known buildings are the Basilica of Guadalupe, National Museum of Anthropology, and Azteca Stadium
  • William Wilson, a former critic for the Los Angeles Times, died on April 20, 2013, at the age of 78. He began writing for the paper in 1965, contributing exhibition reviews through 2001
  • Zao Wou-Ki, a Chinese artist whose work combined the traditional landscape painting of his country with European abstraction, died on April 9, 2013, age 92. He had lived and worked in Paris from 1948 to 2011

Read all past obituaries in the arts in CAA News, which include special texts written for CAA. Please send links to published obituaries, or your completed texts, to Christopher Howard, CAA managing editor, for the next list.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News