Robert Wilson received the $200,000 Lilian Gish Prize, established by the late actress to honor outstanding contributions to the arts on Oct. 17 in New York City.
Moneta Slett Jr., 70, a photographer of civil rights battles including his Pulitzer-Prize-winning photography of the funeral of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Baldwin, Long Island.
Mary Kelly, artist and art theorist who has directed the studio portion of the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program in New York since 1989, has been appointed chair of UCLA's art department. She succeeds Henry T. Hopkins, who stepped down last year to become full-time director of the UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Elaine Anthony, 53, painter of lush semi-abstract landscapes, died on 26 October of cancer. Her father was a New Yorker cartoonist; she was married to Spanish architect, Pedro Sanchez de Movellan, and she was the twin sister of artist Carol Anthony of Santa Fe.
Carl H. Pforzheimer Jr., a leading New York investment banker, book collector and benefactor of the arts, died at the age of 89. Coming from a family of bibliophiles, the senior Mr. Pforzheimer had amassed in his huge library in Purchase, NY a Gutenberg Bible, acquired in 19023, and a wealth of early English literature. The sale of the Bible to Univ. of Texas in 1978 for a record $2.6 million, and 8 years later, the sale of 1100 books and 250 manuscripts dating from 1475 to `700, to the same Univ. of Texas, for $15 million broke all records. The rest of the collection in 1987 went to the New York Public Library containing 8,000 original manuscripts and 13,00 printed volumes coming from 3 generations of collecting.
André Malraux's ashes were enshrined in November, 20 years after his death, in the Pantheon, France's resting place of honor. Malraux, one of France's most celebrated thinkers, a most influential novelist, militant, statesman and philosopher of art who believed that "ideas should be acted upon, not just conceived" was honored with a postage stamp (without cigarette hanging from his lips, which was his insignia). He died 23 November 1976 at 75.
Nell Blaine, a widely respected New York landscape painter and watercolorist, died in November at the age of 74 of post-polio syndrome. Confined to a wheelchair since 1959 because of polio, she lived in New York since 1942 having studied with Hans Hofmann and Stanley Hayter. Told she would never paint again after being in an iron lung, she taught herself to paint with oils with her left hand, which was stronger, and was able to draw and make watercolors with her right.
Paul Rand, a seminal figure in graphic design who made innovative visual identities for some of America's major corporations and book and magazine publishers, died in November at the age of 82. Best known for the corporate logos he designed for IBM, Westinghouse, the American Broadcasting Company and United Parcel Service, he also created posters, packages and textiles, and illustrated children's books.
Yoko Ono has a conceptual artwork on the Internet created for ArtCommotion, a magazine on the World Wide Web. In a new version of a 25-year-old hoax, in which she advertised a show that didn't exist at New York's Museum of Modern Art, Ono has devised an exhibition that is said to have been staged at Los Angeles's MOCA but actually exists only in cyberspace. Web surfers who catch her act http://www.moca.org will see phony photographs of Ono releasing perfumed flies at MOMA in 1971 and at MOCA this year, as well as reports of nationwide "fly sightings."
Tina Modotti's biography, written by Margaret Hooks, has been optioned to Mick Jagger and his Jagged Films for a film on the later photographer, with Gabriel Byrne as executive producer who will also play one of Modotti's lovers, while Jagger will produce. The Modotti role has not yet been cast, but Madonna and Linda Fiorentino have previously expressed interest in her story.
Charles Ryskamp, for the last nine years the director of the Frick Collection in Manhattan, is to retire next September. During his tenure at the Frick, he has stabilized the finances of the art reference library, expanded the special exhibitions and publications programs, developed new gallery spaces and enlarged the collection.
Fritz and Ingeborg Kahlenberg, exiled Germans who met during World War II as members of Hidden Camera, a Dutch Resistance group that documented the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, died in October in New York City within two weeks of each other. There were 80 and 76 respectively. Working secretly, the Hidden Camera photographers, led by Mr. Kahlenberg, hoarded rationed film, snapped pictures with cameras concealed in coats or handbags, developed the photographs and in some cases, tried to smuggle them out of the country. Their exhibition of photography in the Netherlands during the German occupation, 1940-45, was held at the Jewish Museum from August through November.
Hugo Buchthal, who fled Nazi Germany and became a renowned New York University art historian and an authority on the interplay of cultures in another turbulent age, died at the age of 87 in London. Professor Buchthal was an expert on medieval art history, specifically the illumination of manuscripts. he did pioneering research on the illustration of Christian religious books that were hand-copied by European scribes in the 12th and 13th centuries in the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem.
Richard Meier, the New York-based architect of pristine white structures of metal and glass, whose buildings number the High Museum of Art, in Atlanta, the Museum for Decorative Arts in Frankfurt, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, and most recently the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills, and of course his most current work is the immense six-building Getty Center cultural complex due to open next year in Los Angeles, has been awarded the American institute of Architects' gold medal, its highest award.
Konrad Fischer, 57, a gallery owner and important dealer in contemporary art, died in Dusseldorf, Germany of cancer. At first, he was a conceptual artist, friend of Richter, Sigmar Polke and Manfred Kuttner. In 1967, he opened a gallery with his wife, Dorothee, and has shown Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman and many contemporary European artists, such as Mario Merz.
Francesco Buranelli, 41, archeologist and Etruscan expert, has been named by Pope John Paul to be the next Director General of the Monuments, Museums and Pontifical Galleries of the Vatican.
Matthew Barney received the first Hugo Boss Prize of $50,000 from the Guggenheim Foundation. Barney was selected from a group of 6 shortlisted artists by an international jury of museum curators, art critics, and collectors.
Grace Mayer, a pioneering curator of photography who was instrumental in rediscovering the work of Jacob Riis and who built a major collection of prints and photographs for the Museum of the City of New York, died in December at the age of 95. She had organized the first important Berenice Abbott show in the United States. She became Steichen's assistant and then curator of photography at MOMA. After retiring she was appointed curator of the Edward Steichen Archive.
Dan Flavin, 63, a leading Minimalist sculptor known for working with fluorescent lights, died in late November from complications from diabetes. He was one of the American artists who redefined American sculpture in the wake of the Abstract Expressionists, who had redefined American painting. His medium of fluorescent lights arrived after several years of painting and drawing. An exhibition of a large series of pyramidal wall pieces dedicated to the Russian Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin which he created in the 1960s will be exhibited this month at the Danese Gallery on East 57th St. in New York City, along with drawings by Kasimir Malevich.
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