The art world lost some singular and durable talents this past year. ArtDaily would like to remember those painters, sculptors, architects, photographers and collectors who left us in 2008. The list has been organized by date from December to January, in chronological order.
28.- Sir Michael Levey
Michael Levey, who was knighted in 1981, was best known as the director of the National Gallery between 1973 and 1987. During his 14 years in the top job at the National Gallery, he instigated wide-ranging change, including modernising the gallery both in attitudes and services to the public. Sir Michael was also responsible for launching a controversial policy of cleaning and restoring pictures in the collection.
27.- Robert Graham, 70, Mexican-born American sculptor, husband of Anjelica Huston, after long illness.
Robert Graham was a sculptor based in the state of California in the United States of America. His monumental bronzes commemorate the human figure and are featured in public places across America.
19.- Pierre Mendell, 79, German graphic designer.
18.- Hannah Frank, 100, British sculptor.
Her works during the years of the World War II were reflective of the mood of the time, as a Jew, and with brothers in the Army these years were long and dark, and there were many illustrations of grim, gaunt figures, reflecting the plight of the refugees. It was also during this period that Hannah began clay modeling at the Glasgow School of Art under Paul Zunterstein and Benno Schotz who encouraged her work, and sculpture became her main passion.
Ivan Rabuzin, 87, Croatian painter.
Ivan Rabuzin was a Croatian Naïve artist born in 1921. He had little formal training as an artist, but his first exhabition of paintings proved successful and he changed careers, becoming a professional painter in 1962. His paintings included Avenue and My Homeland. From 1993 to 1999 he was also a member of the Croatian Parliament.
17. Willoughby Sharp, 72, American artist, art dealer, curator and impresario, throat cancer.
Willoughby Sharp was the co-founder, with writer/filmmaker Liza Bear, of Avalanche magazine (1970-1976), was an internationally known artist, independent curator, gallerist, teacher, author, and telecom activist.
10.- Mildred Constantine, 95, American curator at Museum of Modern Art, heart failure.
Mildred Constantine Bettelheim was an American curator who helped bring attention to the posters and other graphic design in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in the 1950s and 1960s
7.- François-Xavier Lalanne, 81, French sculptor.
5.- George Brecht, 82, American artist (Fluxus), natural causes.
George Brecht (born George MacDiarmid was a minimalist artist and composer (although not in the conventional sense) and a professional chemist who has worked as consultant for such companies as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Mobil Oil. He was an early Fluxus artist. When he was about 19 he changed his last name to Brecht just because he liked the sound of the name; it had nothing to do with Bertolt Brecht.
4.- Warren M. Robbins, 85, American art collector, complications from a fall.
Warren Murray Robbins was an American art collector, whose collection of African art led to the formation of the National Museum of African art at the Smithsonian Institution.
3.- William Pierson, Jr., 97, American art historian.
William Harvey Pierson, Jr. was an American painter and art historian. He was the first person to receive a masters degree in painting from Yale.
1.- Betty Goodwin, 85 Canadian artist.
Betty Goodwin used a large variety of media, including collage, sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing, assemblage and etchings. Her subject matter almost always revolves around the human form and deals with it in a highly emotional way. Many of her ideas came from clusters of photographs, objects or drawings on the walls in her studio. She also used the germ of ideas that are left after being erased from a work.
29.- Jørn Utzon, 90, Danish architect, heart attack.
Jørn Oberg Utzon, AC was a Danish architect most notable for designing the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
27.- Gideon Gechtman, 66, Israeli artist, heart failure.
Gideon Gechtman was an Israeli artist and sculptor. His art is most noted for holding a dialogue with death, often in relation with his own biography.
Ann Sperry, sculptor and feminist.
Ann's steel sculptures transformed toughness into softness, femininity and beauty. They adorn the collections of the Storm King Arts Center, the Skirball Museums in Los Angeles and Cincinnati, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis and many others; her large sitespecific sculptures are installed in Seattle, Boston, Aspen, and other places. She served on the board of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the Sculpture Center as well as in political campaigns from Eugene McCarthy's to Barack Obama's.
Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule III, 83, American scholar of Greek and Roman art, complications from a stroke.
Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule, III was a contemporary scholar of ancient art and was curator of classical art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1957 to 1996.
24.- Frank Cieciorka, 69, American graphic artist and anti-war activist, emphysema.
Frank Cieciorka was an American graphic artist, painter, and activist. His best known work, a woodcut rendering of a clenched-fist salute, was a model for the New Left emblem.
19.- Karl Bissinger, 94, American photographer.
Karl Bissinger was an American photographer best known for his portraits of notable figures in the world of art following World War II.
17.- Guy Peellaert, 74, Belgian painter, illustrator and photographer, cancer.
Guy Peellaert was a Belgian artist, painter, illustrator, comic artist and photographer, most famous for his album covers for rock artists like David Bowie (Diamond Dogs) and The Rolling Stones (It's Only Rock 'n' Roll). He also designed film posters for films like Taxi Driver, Paris, Texas and Short Cuts.
15.- Grace Hartigan, 86, American painter, liver failure.
Grace Hartigan was an Abstract Expressionist painter. She gained her reputation as part of the New York School of artists and painters that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 50s. She was a lively participant in the vibrant artistic and literary milieu of the times, and her friends included Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Frank O'Hara, and many other painters, artists, poets, and writers. She was the only woman artist in the Museum of Modern Art's legendary The New American Painting exhibition which toured Europe in the late 1950s.
14.- Sir Bernard Feilden, 89, British conservation activist and restoration architect.
Sir Bernard Feilden, CBE, FRIBA, was a conservation architect whose work encompassed cathedrals, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.
9.- Edgar Holloway, 94 etcher of British landscapes, literary giants and analytical self-portraits
Yorkshire-born artist Edgar Holloway was an artist renowned for his detailed and emotive etchings. He was a central figure of the 20th century revival in the medieval art form, which had lain largely dormant since the tail end of the Renaissance. The technique, in which prints are made from reliefs scored into copper, is notoriously tricky but can produce stunning results, as Mr Holloway demonstrated with his images of local scenery and portraits of the famous.
30.- Cundo Bermúdez, 94, Cuban artist.
In 1926, Bermudez was admitted at the Institute of Havana, and in 1930 enrolled at the renowned Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, where he studied painting for two years. In 1934, he entered the University of Havana to study law and social sciences. He graduated in 1941. Later, he traveled to Mexico and studied at the Academy of San Carlos. In 1949 he was founding of the Asociación de Pintores y Escultores de Cuba (APEC).
22.- Lou Dorfsman, 90, American television graphic designer, heart failure.
Louis "Lou" Dorfsman was a graphic designer who oversaw almost every aspect of the advertising and corporate identity for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in his forty years with the network.
Paritosh Sen, 90, Indian artist, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Paritosh Sen was a leading Indian artist. He was born in Dhaka (then known as Dacca), the present-day capital of Bangladesh. He was a founder member of the Calcutta Group, an art movement established in 1942 that did much to introduce modernism into Indian art.
20.- James Gleeson, 92, Australian art critic and surrealist painter.
James Timothy Gleeson was Australia's foremost surrealist artist. He was also a poet, critic, writer and curator. He played a significant role in the Australian art scene, including serving on the board of the National Gallery of Australia.
18.- Albert Boime, 75, American art historian, myelofibrosis.
Albert Boime was a scholar and author on art history who was a professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles for three decades, until his death.
11.- William Claxton, 80, American photographer, complications of heart failure.
Born in Pasadena, California, Claxton's works included a book of photographs of Steve McQueen, and Jazz Life, a book of photographs depicting jazz artists in the 1960s. He was most noted for his photography of jazz musicians including Chet Baker. Claxton also photographed celebrities and models. He married model Peggy Moffitt in 1960 and had one son, Christopher M. Claxton, born in 1973. Claxton died on October 11, 2008 of complications from congestive heart failure, one day before his 81st birthday.
7.- Miles Richmond, 85, British painter.
Richmond had a strong spiritual sense, regarding painting as similar to prayer, and nurtured a lifelong determination never to become what he called a "dealer's artist". A month before his death he published a letter in The Guardian very critical of a materialistic ethos in contemporary western art, provoked by the auction at Sotheby's of work by Damien Hirst.
6.- Terry Fincher, 77 , Fleet Street photographer famed for covering wars and royalty.
Terry Fincher, was an esteemed press photographer, best known for his comprehensive coverage of world conflict. He covered every major war that took place during his career and he was named British Press Photographer of the Year on four occasions. He covered politics, royalty and show business for the Daily Herald, Daily Express, The Sun and his own photo agency, but was best known for his war photography.
5.- Iba N'Diaye, 80, Senegalese painter, heart failure.
Iba N'Diaye (1928 October 5, 2008) was a French-Senegalese painter. Trained in Senegal and France during the Colonial period, N'Diaye utilised European modernist fine arts training and medium to depict his views of African realities. He returned to Senegal upon its independence, and became the founding head of Senegal's national fine arts academy. Disenchanted with the prevailing artistic and political climate of mid 1960s Dakar, N'Diaye returned to France in 1967 and exhibited around the globe, returning to his birthplace of Saint-Louis, Senegal, to present his work in Senegal again only in 2000. N'Diaye died at his home in Paris in October, 2008 at age 80.
1.- Robert Couturier, 103, French sculptor.
In 1920, he joined the École Estienne à Paris and trained in lithography. On his father's death he was forced to interrupt his studies and joined a lithography studio in Paris. In 1929 he met the sculptor Alfred Janniot and the following year he won the Prix Blumenthal. In 1932 he won a place as an art professor in Paris, where he met several painters, including Henri Matisse, from whom he received much advice. He was also at one point a student of Aristide Maillol and collaborated with him in 1938.
27.- John Houston, 78, British painter.
He painted landscapes in an expressionist style. His works are on display at many Scottish art galleries. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1972 and was accorded a retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2005.
22.- Petrus Schaesberg, 41, German art historian, suicide by jumping.
In 2004, Schaesberg earned his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) at Munichs Institute of Art History, Ludwig Maximilian University. He taught at the Institute of Art History at Munich University. At the time of his death, Schaesberg was an adjunct professor in the Art History department at Columbia University. Schaesbergs book, Das Aufgehobene Bild, discussed collage as a mode of painting from Pablo Picasso to Richard Prince.
18.- Don Ultang, 91, American Pulitzer Prizewinning photographer.
After returning to civilian life, he convinced The Register to purchase a Beechcraft Bonanza to be used for aerial photography. As the paper's only pilot, he would use the plane to take panoramic photos of news events such as a train wreck or flood from the plane using his Speed Graphix camera. Ultang would fly the plane solo over the target at a few hundred above the ground, keep his plane in a 45 to 50 degree banking turn and about 20 miles per hour above stall speed, briefly release one of his hands from the controls for about five seconds to take the desired sequence of photographs, and retake the controls to circle around for another series of shots.
16.- Avraham Biran, 98, Israeli archaeologist, natural causes.
Avraham Biran was an Israeli archaeologist, most well known for heading excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel for more than 30 years. Biran received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, studying under the dean of Near Eastern scholarship, William F. Albright. Biran knew Sir William Flinders Petrie, the father of modern Near Eastern archaeology. In addition to leading the Tel Dan excavation, Biran dug at numerous sites in Israel, British Mandate-era Palestine and in Iraq, and he headed the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem for many years.
12.- Simon Hantaï, 85, Hungarian-born French abstract artist.
In 1960, Hantaï developed his technique of "pliage" (folding): the canvas is folded and scrunched, then doused with colour, and unfolded, leaving apparent blank sections of the canvas interrupted by vibrant splashes of colour. He stated: "The pliage developed out of nothing. It was necessary to simply put myself in the place of someone who had seen nothing... in the place of the canvas. You could fill the folded canvas without knowing where the edge was. You don't know where things stop. You could even go further, and paint with your eyes closed." ("Le pliage ne procédait de rien. Il fallait simplement se mettre dans l'état de ceux qui n'ont encore rien vu; se mettre dans la toile. On pouvait remplir la toile pliée sans savoir où était le bord. On ne sait plus alors où cela s'arrête. On pouvait même aller plus loin et peindre les yeux fermés.")
8.- George Zarnecki, 92, Polish art historian and medievalist.
After the war, Zarnecki stayed on in England and in 1945 attained a position as assistant at the Courtauld Institute of Art's Conway library. He got the job thanks to an earlier association with Anthony Blunt, to whom he had been introduced in 1944. Zarnecki became a naturalised British citizen on 1 July 1949. Whilst at the Courtauld he studied for his PhD, under the supervision of Fritz Saxl director of the Warburg Institute. He was awarded his PhD in 1950, his thesis had been on the subject of 'Regional Schools in English Sculpture in the 12th century'. In 1949 Zarnecki was promoted to librarian of the Courtauld's Conway library, taking charge of its collection of photographs of sculpture and architecture. He helped organize, and embarked on, expeditions around Europe to build up the librarys photographic holdings. In 1959, after serving 10 years as the Conway librarian, Zarnecki was appointed to the Courtauld's academic staff as a Reader. During the academic year 1960 to 61 he held the position of Oxford University's Slade Professor of Fine Art.
23.- John Russell, 89, British-born American art critic and author.
He was an unpaid intern at the Tate Gallery in 1940, but moved to the country after the gallery was bombed. During World War II he worked in Naval Intelligence for the Admiralty. There he met Ian Fleming, who helped to secure Russell a reviewing position at The Sunday Times. Russell succeeded a fired critic at The Sunday Times in 1950.
22.- Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman, 94, American abstract expressionist art collector, natural causes.
In the 1940s she began purchasing works by Abstract Expressionists, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Alexander Calder. Though a lifelong Chicago resident, Newman bequeathed most of her collection to the Met in New York.
18.- Manny Farber, 91, American film critic and painter.
His film criticism has appeared during stints at The New Republic (from 1942), Time (1949), The Nation (1949-54), New Leader (1958-59), Cavalier (1966), Artforum (1967-71). He has also contributed to Commentary, Film Culture, Film Comment, and City Magazine. He contributed art criticism to The New Republic and The Nation during the 1940s through 1950s.
13.- Stuart Cary Welch, 80, American scholar and collector of Indian and Islamic art.
His first paid position at Harvard was in 1956, as honorary assistant keeper of Islamic Art at the Fogg Museum. He later developed one of the first curricula for Islamic and Indian art. He was curator of Islamic and Later Indian art at the Harvard Art Museum, and from 1979 to 1987, he was also special consultant for the department of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Welch taught at Harvard until his retirement in 1995, and he donated much of his collection to the school. A resident of New Hampshire, Welch died of a heart attack while traveling in Hokkaido, Japan.
12.- Michael Baxandall, 74, British art historian, Parkinson's disease.
Michael David Kighley Baxandall FBA was a prominent British-born art historian and a professor emeritus of Art History at University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and worked as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
11.- George Deem, 75, American artist, lung cancer.
George Charles Deem Jr. (August 18, 1932 11 August 2008) was an American artist best known for reproducing famous works with deliberate alterations.
2.- Pérez Celis, 69, Argentine plastic artist, leukaemia.
Celis Pérez was an Argentine plastic artist usually referred to as Pérez Celis, with international recognition for his paintings, sculptures, murals and engravings.
Christopher Gonzalez, 65, Jamaican sculptor and painter, cancer.
González is, perhaps, best known for a 9-foot tall (2.7 m) statue of Bob Marley, which is currently on display at a museum in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The abstract stautue depicts Marley with a tree trunk for a lower body and a distorted face. The sculpture was pelted with fruit and rocks by angry Marley fans when it was unveiled in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1983 on the second anniversary of his death.
31.- Athos Bulcão, 90, Brazilian painter and sculptor, Parkinson's disease.
By the 1940s, he assisted Candido Portinari with the "São Francisco de Assis" painting at the Pampulha Church, in Belo Horizonte. Further, he moved to Paris, where he lived until 1949. Back to Brazil, he became one of the collaborators of the construction of Brasília, taking part in several of Oscar Niemeyer's projects. By 1958, he finally moved to the new capital of Brazil, where he lived until his death.
30.- Vittorio Fiorucci, 75, Canadian graphic artist, stroke.
His work was used to promote many of the films that marked the beginning of independent Québecois cinema, and appeared in magazines as varied as Time and (the cinema magazine) Take One. He created the logo for the Le Château chain of clothing stores, and the green mascot of the Just For Laughs festival.
22.- Helen Gardiner, 70, Canadian philanthropist, pancreatic cancer.
She was born in 1938 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario to a working family. She later moved to Toronto with her family and attended York University and Christie's Fine Arts School in London. She later married businessman George R. Gardiner, with whom she co-founded the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts in Toronto.
Hildy Beyeler, 86, Art collector.
Hildy and Ernst beyelers collection of around 200 works by 40 artists provides an extensive overview of classic modern art. Starting with late and Post-Impressionist works by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, it continues via Cubism with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque to other characteristic groups of works by Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Vasily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. American Expressionism is represented by artists like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. The collections time-frame ends with works by Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer and Luciano Fabro. A number of sculptures from Africa, Alaska and Oceania provide an exciting counterpoint to the works of European and American origin.
21.- El Kazovsky, 58, Russian-born Hungarian painter and artist.
Her art was not broken down into periods; all of her expressive paintings are revealing the same mythological word that she created. Several figures appear in many of her paintings, such as the long nosed dog or the ballet dancer figure. Besides paintings, her work span to stage designs, performances and installations.
19.- Dave Pearson, 70, British painter.
Dave Pearson was an English painter and educator who was 'a great example of an artist whose life was completely dedicated to serving the imagination'. Highly prolific, throughout his life he produced a prodigious quantity of work.
7.- Bruce Conner, 74, American artist, natural causes.
Bruce Conner was an American artist renowned for his work in film, drawing, sculpture, painting, collage, and photography, among other disciplines.
Fred Yates, 85, British painter.
Fred Yates born Frederick Joseph Yates, was an English artist. His paintings are included in many private and public collections including Brighton and Hove Art Gallery, Liverpool University, the University of Warwick, Torquay Art Gallery and Russell Coates Gallery Bournemouth.
26.- Charles Percy Parkhurst, 95, American museum curator.
Parkhurst was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Oberlin, Ohio. He earned a B.A. at Williams College in 1935, a M.A. at Oberlin College in 1938 and a M.F.A. at Princeton University in 1941. The Roberts Commission found and returned more than five million artifacts and art works to their rightful owners.
15.- Walter Netsch, 88, American architect, pneumonia.
Walter Netsch was an American architect based in Chicago. He was most closely associated with the brutalist style of architecture, as well as the firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. His signature aesthetic is known as Field Theory and is based on rotating squares into complex shapes. He may be most well known as the lead designer for the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and its famous Cadet Chapel. The Cadet Area at the Academy was named a National Historic Landmark in 2004.
10.- Ralph Bacerra, 70, American ceramic artist, lung cancer.
The artwork of Ralph Bacerra is recognizable by its vivid use of color and contrast, which are the result of a delicate and multi-staged process of overglazing. He is also known for geometrically complicated and technically difficult forms. His decorative aesthetic draws from Asian sources, most notably Japanese Imari and Kutani pieces, Persian miniatures, and Chinese Tang ceramics. The surface imagery of Bacerras sculptures is design-conscious and draws comparisons to M.C. Eschers grid techniques and use of positive and negative space, as well as to the geometric sensibility and creation of movement and space associated with Vassily Kandinsky. Bacerra has insisted upon an absence of metaphor:
1. Anne d'Harnoncourt, 64, American chief executive of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, natural causes.
Anne Julie d'Harnoncourt was the only child of the Austrian-born Rene d'Harnoncourt, who became a director of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and his wife, the fashion designer Sara Carr. She graduated from The Brearley School in 1961, Radcliffe College in 1965, and received her master's degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1967. From 1969 she was an assistant curator of modern art at the Chicago Art Institute. She was an expert on the works of Marcel Duchamp, an acquaintance of her parents.
Alton Kelley, 67, American graphic designer and psychedelic artist, after long illness.
Alton Kelley was an American artist best known for his psychedelic art, in particular his designs for 1960s rock concerts and albums. Along with artists Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso and Wes Wilson, Kelley founded the Berkeley Bonaparte distribution agency in order to produce and sell psychedelic poster art.
Yves Saint Laurent, 71, French fashion designer, founder of Yves Saint Laurent brand, brain cancer.
Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was an Algerian-born French fashion designer who was considered one of the greatest figures in French fashion in the 20th century. In 1985, Caroline Rennolds Milbank wrote, "The most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years, Yves Saint Laurent can be credited with both spurring the couture's rise from its sixties ashes and with finally rendering ready-to-wear reputable".
28.- Beryl Cook, 81, British painter.
Beryl Cook, OBE was an English artist best known for comical paintings of people. She had no formal training and did not take up painting until middle age.
23.- Cornell Capa, 90, American photographer, founder of the International Center of Photography.
Beginning in 1967, Cornell Capa mounted a series of exhibits and books entitled The Concerned Photographer. The exhibits led to his establishment in 1974 of the International Center of Photography in New York City. Capa served for many years as the director of the Center. Capa has published several collections of his photographs including JFK for President, a series of photographs of the 1960 presidential campaign that he took for Life magazine. Capa also produced a book documenting the first 100 days of the Kennedy presidency, with fellow Magnum photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliott Erwitt.
21.- Bartolomeu Cid dos Santos, 77, Portuguese artist and engraver, long illness.
Bartolomeu Cid dos Santos was a Portuguese artist and professor who specialized in the plastic arts, with an emphasis on engravings.
18.- Pietro Cascella, 87, Italian contemporary artist.
Pietro Cascella was an Italian painter and sculptor who lived in Verrucola. He is noted for his Carrara marble sculptures and his paintings, which often hark back to impressionism and post-impressionism. He created monumental sculptures for locations as varied as the Auschwitz death camp and Silvio Berlusconi's underground mausoleum.
12.- Lidiya Masterkova, 81, Russian-born French painter.
Lidiya Masterkova was a Russian-born French painter, non-conformist artist in USSR. Masterkova graduated from the Surikov Art Academy in 1950. A dedicated abstractionist, Masterkova was associated with Lianozovo Circle along with Oscar Rabin, Vladimir Nemukhin, a diverse group of artists and poets who fought steadfastly and uncompromisingly for creative freedom. Masterkova was one of the significant personalities in the Moscow art world of the 1960s. Masterkovas work in the early 1960s included loosely painted watercolors in bright colors.
Robert Rauschenberg, 82, American pop artist, heart failure.
Rauschenberg is perhaps most famous for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. While the Combines are both painting and sculpture, Rauschenberg also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. Rauschenberg picked up trash and found objects that interested him on the streets of New York City and brought these back to his studio where they could become integrated into his work. He claimed he "wanted something other than what I could make myself and I wanted to use the surprise and the collectiveness and the generosity of finding surprises. And if it wasn't a surprise at first, by the time I got through with it, it was. So the object itself was changed by its context and therefore it became a new thing."
In a famously cited incident of 1953, Rauschenberg erased a drawing by de Kooning, which he obtained from his colleague for the express purpose of erasing it as an artistic statement. The result is titled Erased de Kooning. In 1964 Rauschenberg was the first American artist to win the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale (Mark Tobey and James Whistler had previously won the Painting Prize). After that time, he enjoyed a rare degree of institutional support. In 1951 Rauschenberg had his first one-man show at the Betty Parsons Gallery and in 1954 had a second one-man show at the Charles Egan Gallery.
2.- Carole Dekeijser, 48, Belgian painter, lung cancer.
She started her professional career as a scientific designer in the department of medical research run by Prof. Haumont at the UCL (Louvain University, Belgium). In 1990, Carole Dekeijser worked in the biology department of the ULB (Brussels University) where she illustrated several scientific books for, among others, the neuro-psychiatric department of the Brussels Military Hospital and the pharmaceutical company Park-Davis. To remain closer to her family circle, she joined TTT-Styling-Design, the last of the numerous companies created by her husband, as a commercial artist and scientific designer. During that time, she decorated car bodies, illustrated books for children and gave airbrush classes to professional designers. Along with these activities, Mr. D. Cahen, head of the Institute for Natural Sciences, asked her to illustrate a large exhibition on evolution. Its success exceeded all expectations because of the originality of the approach: human evolution was exclusively presented from a female point of view. Pleased with this successful outcome, the management asked her to take part in all the major events organized by the institute.
25.- Enrico Donati, 99, Italian-born American surrealist painter and sculptor.
Donati was one of the organizers of the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme held in Paris in the summer of 1947, to which he contributed a painting and two sculptures. In the late 1940s he responded to the crisis in Surrealism by going through a Constructivist phase, from which he developed a calligraphic style and drew onto melted tar, or diluted paint with turpentine. He also became associated with Spatialism, founded by Lucio Fontana.
17.- George Pollard, 89, American portrait painter (Harry Truman, Muhammad Ali), pneumonia.
George Pollard was an American portrait painter. Born in Waldo, Wisconsin, he painted portraits of famous people like Harry S. Truman and Muhammed Ali. George Pollard died of pneumonia n Kenosha, Wisconsin.
16.- Joseph Solman, 99, American painter with Works Progress Administration.
Joseph Solman was an American painter, a founder of The Ten, a group of New York City Expressionist painters in the 1930s. His best known works include his "Subway Gouaches" depicting travellers on the New York subways.
14.- Ollie Johnston, 95, American animator, the last of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men".
He was an animator at Walt Disney Studios from 1935 to 1978, and became a directing animator beginning with Pinocchio, released in 1940. He contributed to most Disney animated features, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and Bambi. His last full work for Disney came with The Rescuers, in which he was caricatured as one of the film's characters, the cat Rufus.
12.- Abbas Katouzian, 86, Iranian painter.
Born in Tehran, Katouzian studied art history during his childhood and chose his mentor as Kamalolmolk. He followed the latter in developing the realistic movement in Iran. His work was featured in five exhibitions in the United States, one in London, and two in France.
1.- Sabin Bălaşa, 75, Romanian painter, heart attack.
Among Bălaşa's most notable works are several large-scale fresco paintings, such as those decorating the inside of the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi. He is the uncle of the famous virtuoso guitarist Andrei Bǎlaşa.
31.- David Todd, 93, American architect, designed Manhattan Plaza, former chairman of NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
David F. M. Todd was a New York City based, American architect. Todd was best known for designing the Manhattan Plaza complex and serving as chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1989 and 1990.
29.- Angus Fairhurst, 41, British artist, suicide by hanging.
Angus Fairhurst was an English artist working in installation, photography and video. He was one of the Young British Artists (YBAs).
Josef Mikl, 78, Austrian painter, cancer.
Classified as an Informal and Modernist artist, Mikl himself despised his artwork being placed under a specific label, calling it "an insult" in an undated interview. He worked in oil, pastels and water colors, as well as sculptures and drawings that either stood alone or served as illustrations in a book or decorations in a church. Mikl is best known for renovating the Redoutensaal in Vienna's Imperial Palace after it was destroyed in a 1992 fire. The hall once served as a venue for the first performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 8th Symphony as well as a summit between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita S. Krushchev and was reopened in 1997 with vibrant reds and yellows depicting notable themes and figures of Austrian literature, all of Mikl's design.
Ralph Rapson, 93, American architect, heart attack.
Ralph Rapson was one of the world's oldest practicing architects at his death at age 93, and also one of the most prolific.
28.- Michael Podro, 77, British art historian.
Michael Podro CBE, FBA (March 13, 1931 March 28, 2008) was a British art historian. Podro, the son of Jewish refugees from central Europe, was born in London and grew up in Hendon. He attended Berkhamsted school in Hertfordshire, served in the RAF, and read English at Jesus College, Cambridge and philosophy at University College London. After finishing his PhD in philosophy and art history, he taught at Camberwell College of Arts, the Warburg Institute and Essex University, where he became professor. His best known work are from his period here: The Manifold in Perception: Theories of Art from Kant to Hildebrand (1972), and Critical Historians of Art (1982). Here Podro argued for bringing philosophical questions to bear on the study of art, as well as the prevailing focus on style, attribution and contextual detail.
24.- Victor Christ-Janer, 92, American architect.
After completing his college education, Mr. Christ-Janer designed and built his home in New Canaan, CT. in 1949. In 1955, he founded the Victor Christ-Janer and Associates architectural firm on Elm Street in New Canaan, Connecticut. But his occupation was not restricted to design alone. He also taught the course: The Masters Degree in General Design at Columbia University, beginning in 1963 to 1977 and lectured at Danforth University on the topic of Irrationality and a Contemporary Consciousness from 1963 to 1970. Later in his career Mr. Christ-Janer spent considerable time developing building materials resistant to natural calamities such as earthquakes, cyclones and hurricanes.
19.- John Dowie, 93, Australian sculptor, stroke.
After studying art in London and Florence, Dowie returned to Australia. His work includes over 50 public sculpture commissions, including the Three Rivers fountain in Victoria Square, Alice in Rymill Park, the Victor Richardson gates at Adelaide Oval and the Sir Ross Smith Memorial at Adelaide Airport. He was nominated for Senior Australian of the Year in 2005, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1981 in recognition of service to the arts as a sculptor and painter.
13.- Rafael Tufiño, 85, Puerto Rican painter and printmaker, lung cancer.
Rafael Tufiño's painting included portraits, landscapes and images of Puerto Rico daily life. His work is among the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the U.S. Library of Congress, the Galería Nacional in Puerto Rico, and the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico. During the 1950s, he was part of the "Generación de los Cincuentas" (the Generation of the Fifties), a group of artists who tried to create a new artistic style and aesthetic identity for Puerto Rico.
3.- William Brice, 86, American painter and UCLA professor, injuries from fall.
From 1948 until 1952, he taught at the Jepson Art Institute in Los Angeles, and the following year began his long tenure at UCLA, continuing until his retirement in 1991, where he was a beloved teacher, and mentored generations of artists, for whom he offered a connection to European Modernism.
18.- Alec Wildenstein, 67, French international art dealer, ex-husband of socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein, cancer.
9.- Jazeh Tabatabai, Iranian avant-garde painter, poet and sculptor.
He started writing and literature works, when he was twelve and has more than 40 volumes contain folklore stories, novels, poem, art critic and plays. Before university, he also published a newspaper; then, he became more interested in directing, dramatic art, ballet, as well as painting and sculpturing. He was the founder and director of Iran Modern Art Gallery. His works have been exhibited in Australia, China, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, USA and Yugoslavia. His works were featured in Paris, San Paolo and Venice Biennales and have been awarded more than 10 international prizes.
9.- Dorothy Podber, 75, American performance artist, shot Andy Warhol 's Shot Marilyns paintings.
A wild child of the New York art scene in the 1950s and 1960s, she helped to run the Nonagon Gallery, which showed the work of a young Yoko Ono and was known for jazz concerts by such performers as Charles Mingus. However, her greatest fameand notorietycame from her work as a muse and collaborator with more prominent artists. On one occasion, she turned up at Andy Warhol's studio and put a bullet through a stack of his silk-screen paintings of Marilyn Monroe. These four paintings, thereafter, were called The Shot Marilyns.
8.- Chua Ek Kay, Singaporean painter.
Chua Ek Kay was a Singaporean artist hailed as the "bridge between Asian and Western art" with a unique painting style using Chinese ink on paper that demonstrated an ingenious blend of traditional Chinese painting forms with Western art theories and techniques. Most of his works were themed of Chinatown street scenes, lotuses, and abstract works inspired by Australian aboriginal cave paintings.
1.- Allan Grant, 88, American photojournalist for Life magazine.
In 1947, Grant photographed Howard Hughes flight in the "Spruce Goose," and he filmed the atom bomb tests in Nevada during the 1950s. At the 1955 Academy Awards, he photographed Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn as they awaited the "Best Actress" announcement backstage.
29.- Rubens Gerchman, 66, Brazilian painter, lung cancer.
Many of his works are paintings based on populist themes and his political beliefs which followed those of neoconcrete artists. Meanwhile, Gerchmans sculptures with letters were stem from concrete poetry.
28.- Bengt Lindström, 82, Swedish painter.
Lindström is probably best known for his outdoor decorations, such as mural paintings and colorful sculptures. One of his most famous sculptures is the massive Y-sculpture at Midlanda Airport north of Sundsvall, Sweden.
26.- Viktor Schreckengost, 101, American artist and industrial designer.
Viktor Schreckengost was an industrial designer and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an example of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery. He is the creator of the largest freestanding ceramic sculpture in the world, Early Settler, on permanent display at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio. He also designed dinnerware. Eschewing the fancy, flowery French designs that were popular in the United States during the Great Depression, Schreckengost created simple modern designs that were popular throughout the country. He designed bicycles manufactured by Murray bicycles for Murray and Sears, Roebuck and Company. He designed the first cab over engine with engineer Ray Spiller. This design is used in almost every city bus today.
22.- Miles Lerman, 88, American creator of the United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumMiles Lerman, 88, American creator of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Miles Lerman was a Polish-born American who helped to plan and create the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.. Lerman, a Holocaust survivor himself, had fought as a Jewish resistance fighter during World War II in Nazi occupied Poland.
20.- Eudoxia Woodward, 88, American painter, cancer.
The title of Woodward's 1977 art show in Boston, "Flowers - Art or Science?", exemplified the contradictions in her work. Her watercolor, "Pentagonal Red Hibiscus", displayed at a show in 1995 at the Francesca Anderson Fine Art gallery in Lexington, exemplified the unity she found in the two approaches to experience. For the "Pentagonal Red Hibiscus" she said she had plotted four views of the blossom against a pentagon. Her works have been shown in exhibitions at, among other sites, the DeCordova Museum, and her alma mater, Smith College. Variously, Woodward served on the boards of the Boston Museum of Science, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Cambridge Art Association. In 2002, the New England Watercolor Society awarded Woodward the "Stanhope Framers Prize".
15.- K. M. Adimoolam, 69, Indian abstract artist.
K. M. Adimoolam was a well known Indian abstract artist. He was born in 1938 in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. He had a natural aptitude for drawing at an early age. In 1959, he moved to Chennai where under the influence of the sculptor Dhanapal, he enrolled in the School of Arts and Crafts. After completing his Diploma in Advanced Painting in 1966, Adimoolam started a series of black and white portraits of Mahatma Gandhi. Sketching from photographs of the great man, he finished nearly a hundred drawings that moved over 60 years of the Mahatmas life.
8.- Bjarni Jónsson, 73, Icelandic painter.
He was notable for his paintings of old Icelandic fishing boats, many of which have been added to the National Museum of Iceland, Þjóðminjasafn Íslands. He studied with and was taught by esteemed Icelandic artists such as Kjarval and Ásgrímur Jónsson. He was an avid Rotarian, a member of the Hafnarfjörður division of Rotary International.
7.- Marcel Mouly, 88, French painter.
Marcel Mouly was a French artist. He was the last living person to study with Picasso and a protégé of Fernand Léger. He was considered one of the greatest contemporary artists of the century.
1.- Harold Corsini, 88, American photographer, stroke.
His photographic work is held, in addition to the Pittsburgh Photographic Library, by the University of Louisville Photographic Archives, the George Eastman House Photo Collection, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. The University of Pittsburgh houses the Harold Corsini archives.