Obituaries

Shortly before her death, artist Julie Green concludes 21-year project depicting the final suppers of US death row inmates 

The painter, who died in October from ovarian cancer, also turned the first meal of exonerated prisoners into an artwork

Soedarmadji Jean Henry Damais, Indonesian curator and historian, dies aged 78

The last director of the Jakarta History Museum was a leading advocate of the archipelago's traditional arts, crafts and designs

Former Bonhams owner Robert Brooks dies

The ambitious auctioneer started out in car racing before going into art and antiques, eventually retiring to his farm near Exmoor to rear a herd of beef cattle

Chuck Close, artist of monumental pictures and a monumental fall, dies at 81

The debate over the artist's place in post-1970 history, quiet since allegations against him were made in 2017, is sure to gather steam

Chuck Close, Photo Realist painter of large-scale portraits, has died, aged 81

The outsize artist retreated from public attention in his later years, following a diagnosis of dementia in 2015 and accusations of sexual harassment in 2017

Kaari Upson, Los Angeles artist who obsessively explored identity, family and Americana, has died, aged 51

The artist was known for years-long, multi-pronged projects based on singular figures—such as her mother or a mysterious man she dubbed “Larry”—and subjects

'Unafraid of upsetting the applecart': leading Rembrandt scholar Ernst van de Wetering has died, aged 83

The Dutch art historian, who worked on the Rembrandt Research Project for 47 years, made radical changes to the study of the Old Master painter

Dealer Inge Baecker, a pioneer of the Fluxus movement, dies in German floods

The gallerist was ill at home in Bad Münstereifel, one of the worst-hit towns

Christian Boltanski made a work that live-streamed his Paris studio. What will happen to it now that he has died?

After a boozy dinner in Paris, the French conceptual artist proposed the work to David Walsh, the founder of Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art—and it has been running for over a decade

Christian Boltanski, French conceptual artist, has died, aged 76

The artist, who was born just two weeks after Paris was liberated from Nazi control, was known for work that explored memory, loss and personal as well as cultural history

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Jackie Matisse, a pioneer of kite art and art in virtual reality who had a special feel for chance and the power of collaboration

She saw 'flying art' as a collaboration with wind and light and found ways to 'fly' her kites underwater and in galleries, kept in motion with blown air and mechanical reels

Arturo Luz, one of Asia’s most influential modernists, has died in Manila, aged 94

A key figure in Filipino neo-realism, Luz also co-founded and directed many of the country's leading art spaces

Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has died, aged 91

The artist’s early life in Germany exploring nature and the devastation and malnutrition his family experienced during the Second World War add personal poignancy to his later children’s books

Tair Salakhov, leading painter and 'father of new Russian art', has died aged 92

The Azerbaijani-born artist was one of the Soviet Union's most notable creatives during Khrushchev's cultural thaw

Mary Beth Edelson, feminist art pioneer, has died, aged 88

She was a founding member of the Heresies Collective and made activism as well as spirituality a major part of her practice

'Restless, experimental and enigmatic': Brazilian artist Carlito Carvalhosa has died, aged 59

He was the first living Brazilian artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

Karl Wirsum, life-long Chicago painter and member of the Hairy Who, has died, aged 81

An early interest in comics never left him, as could be seen in his colourful figurative work that reflected a love of robots and toys, as well as an admiration for El Greco

Patrick O’Connell, Visual Aids founder, has died, aged 67

The activist helped develop perhaps the most well known symbol of HIV and Aids awareness: the red ribbon

Eli Broad, an unexpected—and often unreasonable—arts patron

The self-made billionaire helped shape the Los Angeles art scene, while clashing with most of its prominent museum leaders

Eli Broad, who helped reshape the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, has died, aged 87

Billionaire art collector, businessman and philanthropist founded the museum that bears his name and helped shore up Disney Concert Hall, Lacma and MOCA

William T. Wiley, a founder of the Bay Area Funk Art movement and influential art teacher, has died, aged 83

A dedicated mentor, he also delighted in provocative enigmas in wide-ranging mediums

Hans Rasmus Astrup—the intensely private founder of Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museet—has died, aged 82

The Norwegian collector took an “early chance” on Damien Hirst and in 2001 bought Jeff Koons’s Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture for a then record $5.6m

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Gianluigi Colalucci, who oversaw the 14-year restoration of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel

The restorer expertly honoured the "oneness of a work of art" and always balanced its historical and aesthetic qualities

Contemporary Greek artist Kornelios Grammenos has died, aged 62

The sculptor and painter was known for his disarming Alien and Knight sculptures, installed in Greece and abroad

Donald R. Sobey, one of Canada’s greatest cultural philanthropists, has died, aged 86

The son of the Sobey’s grocery chain founder was a huge supporter of artists, and helped establish the country’s main art prize

Ernesto Mallard, resolute leader of Mexican Op-Art, has died, aged 89

After causing a sensation early in his career in the 1960s, the sculptor and visual artist retreated from the gallery scene, and was only recently re-acknowledged

Vicente Rojo, Renaissance man of 20th-century Mexican culture, has died, aged 89

The painter, sculpture and graphic designer helped define the Modern style for a generation

Richard Driehaus, Chicago philanthropist and architecture patron, dies at 78

After purchasing and renovating the 1883 Nickerson House, he opened the historic mansion as an art and design museum

Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, founder of National Museum of Women in the Arts, has died aged 98

The historian built a seed collection of 500 works by women artists, as well as documents and research, with the hope of filling a gap in the art canon

Paul Klee’s grandson Alexander Klee, artist and arts patron, dies aged 80

Bern's Zentrum Paul Klee will devote an exhibition to the artist this summer

Barbara Ess, photographer and musician, has died, aged 73

The No Wave pioneer was also know for her lo-fi pinhole images

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Alan Bowness, Tate director who helped change public attitudes to contemporary art

His successor at the London institution pays personal tribute to the persuasive and effective British curator, writer and critic

Obituariesfeature

Alan Bowness, museum director who established the Turner Prize and Tate Liverpool, has died aged 93

Scholar with an international outlook who was director of the Henry Moore Foundation and executor of his mother-in-law, Barbara Hepworth

Obituariesfeature

Thirty-seven years with Richard Feigen: the dealer who was a collector first—and sold to feed his habit

Frances Beatty remembers a mentor who would rather give you a lecture on Max Beckmann or Peter Saul than sell you a Van Gogh, but who could do both

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Richard Feigen, the high-profile dealer with an outsider's straight-talking outlook on the art industry

New York gallerist railed against auction houses, the inflation of prices and reputations, the industrial expansion of the art market, while still doing great business

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, painter, and founder of San Francisco’s City Lights bookstore, has died, aged 101

Throughout his life, he continued to paint and write books, showing his literature-infused art in New York just last year

Arturo Di Modica, sculptor behind New York’s Charging Bull, has died aged 80

In response to the stock market crash, Di Modica illegally installed Charging Bull in front of the New York Stock Exchange in 1989

Teresa Burga, trailblazing Peruvian conceptualist artist, has died, aged 86

Although overlooked by art institutions until only recently, she continued to create work about artificial systems and bureaucracies during a 30-year career in Lima's customs office

Obituariesfeature

Daniel Wolf, collector and lover of the great outdoors who changed the museum world's attitude to photography, has died, aged 65

Formed a peerless photography collection for the J Paul Getty Museum and curated the landmark 1989 Royal Academy exhibition to mark 150 years of the art form

Artist Charles McGee, a central figure in Detroit’s art scene, has died, aged 96

Through his community programmes and art spaces, the artist and organiser “profoundly impacted the daily lives” of people in the city

'Constantly curious, uninterested in the market-led view': pioneering curator and writer Guy Brett has died, aged 78

His influential texts and exhibitions looked beyond Europe and the US to art from Latin America and Asia

‘The ultimate dealer of Old Master paintings’: New York dealer Richard Feigen has died, aged 90

The Met director Max Hollein pays tribute to the late gallery owner and collector, who also promoted artists from Max Beckmann to Peter Saul

Barry Le Va, pioneer of Process Art, has died, aged 79

The uncompromising artist turn down many exhibition offers but never veered from his vision for a work

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Sam Herman, pioneering glass artist and teacher who also won recognition for his paintings and welded-steel sculptures

One of the first pupils of Harvey Littleton at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he brought the studio glass movement to Britain, and beyond, in the mid-1960s

In memoriam: remembering art world figures who died in 2020

John Baldessari, Beverly Pepper, Irina Antonova and Christo were among those who died last year

Artist David Medalla—the kinetic art pioneer known for his Cloud Canyons foam sculptures—has died, aged 82

Tributes paid to Manila-born trailblazer who co-founded hugely influential Signals gallery in 1960s London

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Ian Jenkins, a scholar and British Museum curator who enriched all who met him with his passion for classical Greece

He was devoted to rediscovering the history of the museum's ancient sculpture collections and improving the display and understanding of the Parthenon Marbles

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Brigid Berlin: Mainstay of Andy Warhol's Factory who pioneered art of self-representation using Polaroids and cassettes

An upper-class rebel who became Warhol's best friend and "the only person who could yell at him"

Obituariespreview

Join us for a free memorial lecture in honour of the life and achievements of the late Getty curator Gillian Wilson

Presented by the Furniture History Society in association with the French Porcelain Society, the event will take place on 6 December on Zoom

James Demetrion, director who shaped the Hirshhorn Museum’s collection, has died, aged 90

The much loved leader is remembered for his unpretentiousness and his warmth, as well as his pioneering vision

Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, Outsider art champion and Art Preserve founder, has died, aged 79

She helped establish the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin as one of the leading institutions dedicated to self-taught artists

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Lindy Dufferin, artist and entrepreneur who used her Northern Ireland home as a centre of community and cultural exchange

A student of Duncan Grant and Oskar Kokoschka whose Clandeboye Yoghurt pictures made her the world’s “most famous disposable artist”

Billionaire art collector Sheldon Solow's tax-exempt art foundation was infamously inaccessible—now his widow says she will open it to the public

The real estate developer died on Tuesday aged 92. His collection in New York has been parodied for being almost impossible to visit despite receiving tax breaks

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Kenzo Takada, the designer and artist who created the first global, multicultural, fashion brand

In everything he made—clothes, spectacles inspired by his trademark round lenses, home furnishings, parfumerie—Takada's love of fine art remained close at hand

Actor Samuel L. Jackson and footballer Samuel Eto’o pay tribute to art collector Sindika Dokolo during six-hour televised memorial

Dokolo was buried at Brompton Cemetery in West London yesterday following his funeral at Westminster Cathedral

Anny Shaw. with additional reporting by Gareth Harris

Gordon Baldwin, longtime Getty photography curator, has died, aged 81

A former artist and fixture of Warhol’s Factory, the curator got his start at the Getty cataloguing two important photography collections

Obituariesfeature

Remembering Terence Conran: a design maestro who rose alongside groovy London in the Swinging Sixties

From Habitat to the Design Museum, from the Soup Kitchen to Quaglino’s, he transformed Britain’s cultural landscape

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Customise