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Recent Deaths in the Arts

posted by Christopher Howard — Aug 22, 2013

In its regular roundup of obituaries, CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, historians, educators, and others whose work has significantly influenced the visual arts. Notable deaths this summer include four major internationally known artists: Ruth Asawa, Walter De Maria, León Ferrari, and Allan Sekula. In addition, CAA has published special obituaries on the Asian American art historian Sadayoshi “Sada” Omoto and the eminent Russian scholar Dmitrii V. Sarabianov.

  • Ruth Asawa, an artist based in San Francisco who created abstract sculpture, including intricate hanging wire pieces and several public fountains, passed away on August 6, 2013. She was 87 years old
  • Ronnie Cutrone, an artist and an assistant to Andy Warhol in the Factory from 1972 into the early 1980s, died on July 21, 2013. He was 65
  • Walter De Maria, a sculptor best known for his large-scale outdoor work The Lightning Field and indoor pieces such as The New York Earth Room and The Broken Kilometer, died on July 25, 2013. He was 77 years old
  • León Ferrari, an Argentine artist known for provocative work that addressed war, religion, power, and sex, died on July 25, 2013. He was 92 years old
  • Betty Jones, a conservator of paintings at Harvard University’s Fogg Museum and for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, died on May 20, 2013, at age 94. She was instrumental in recovery efforts in Venice after the city was flooded in 1966
  • Ben Lifson, a writer, curator, and photographer, passed away on July 3, 2013, at the age of 72. Lifson served as photography critic for the Village Voice from 1977 to 1982
  • Larry Nowlan, a realist sculptor based in New Hampshire known for his bronze statue of the actor Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, sited outside New York’s Port Authority, died on July 30, 2013. He was 48 years old
  • Sadayoshi “Sada” Omoto, a historian of American and Asian art who taught at Michigan State University for thirty-three years, died on March 4, 2013, at the age of 90. A special obituary on the scholar has been published by CAA
  • John Reilly, the founder of a New York theater for underground video called the Global Village, died on July 28, 2013, age 74. Reilly financed documentary films and created his own, including Waiting for Beckett (1993), while also teaching workshops on video production
  • Alejandro Santiago, a Mexican artist who worked on a series of small statues called 2501 Migrantes from 2002 to 2008, passed away on July 22, 2013. He was 49 years old
  • Dmitrii V. Sarabianov, a Russian scholar who specialized in art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, passed away on July 19, 2013, age 89. CAA has published a special obituary on the eminent art historian
  • Allan Sekula, an artist, photographer, writer, and longtime professor at California Institute of the Arts, died on August 10, 2013. He was 62 years old. Last year CAA honored Sekula with its Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art
  • Jud Yalkut, a film and video artist based in Dayton, Ohio, died on July 23, 2013, at the age of 75. He founded the film and video program at Wright State University in 1973 and also taught at Sinclair Community College and Xavier University

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