Notable Fine Art Deaths of 2013

Celebrating the Lives of Arts Professionals

Caro_sculpture.jpg
Sir Anthony Caro's sculpture on March 9, 2012 in Chatsworth, England.. Photo (c) Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Fine Art fondly takes a look back at the various well-known figures in the field of fine arts who died during the year 2013. Let us honor these people who helped make the world a bit better by their passion, vision and devotion to the visual arts.

Their achievements also serve as a cultural and art history of the 20th and 21st centuries.

In addition, several of these notable arts professionals have lived long productive lives, with many of these artists creating well into their 80s, 90s and even 100s; thus, showing how a life in the arts can keep you young and vital for many decades.

Let’s celebrate the creative lives of these renowned artists, art historians, curators, art critics, photographers, architects and other arts professionals, who have made our world richer by their generous contributions to the visual arts.

The following chronological list was based on online news stories and obituaries. Please click on the link for the original source.

Jorge Selarón, a Chilean ceramic street artist artist who created one of Rio de Janeiro's outstanding landmarks by his mosaic work of the 215 steps of the Convent of Santa Teresa died Thursday, 10 January.

Kenojuak Ashevak, artist From the Canadian Arctic, died at age 85 on 10 January in the northern territory of Nunavut.The once-nomadic artist created prints and drawings which helped introduce Inuit art to the world.

Aaron Swartz, the 26 year old co-founder of Reddit, and free culture activist died in January. He collaborated with photo-conceptualist Taryn Simon for Rhizome.org’s “Seven on Seven” event at the New Museum.

Woodcut artist Antonio Frasconi, died on January 8 at 93. In 1968 he represented Uruguay at the Venice Biennale. He illustrated more than 100 books, and his work is in major museum collections.

Simon Cerigo, a collector, curator, and art dealer, who was a well-known figure in New York's art scene, died January 20 at the age of 60.

Architect and photographer Balthazar Korab (1926-2013) died January 15 at the age of 86. According to Arch Daily, "Korab was one of the most prolific and celebrated architectural photographers of midcentury modernism," photographing the works of Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen, and many others.

Painter and sculptor Richard Artschwager, known for his furniture-based works made during the 1960s, died February 9 at age 89.

Italian architectural photographer and craftsman Gabriele Basilico (1944-2013) died in February and is best known for his urban architectural photographs.

Contemporary art advocate Gifford Phillips died April 17 at age 94. He was the founding chair of LACMA's Contemporary Art Council and a trustee at several art institutions, such as New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Former L.A. Times art critic William Wilson died April 20 at age 78. He wrote art criticism for the Los Angeles Times for more than thirty years.

Barbara Piasecka Johnson died April 1 at the age of 76. After she received her MA in art from her native Poland, she moved to the US and became a maid to multi-millionaire J.

Seward Johnson. Her knowledge about art led her to become curator of Johnson's art collection, and eventually the two married. Upon his death and her large inheritance, she became a huge patron of the arts.

Zao Wou-ki (1920-2013) died April 9 at the age of 93. He was seen as one of the most important Chinese contemporary painters of the 20th century.

Thomas Messer, director of the Guggenheim Museum from 1961 to 1988 died in May at the age of 93.

Artist and Andy Warhol movie star Taylor Mead died on May 8 at the age of 88.

Bruce Evans, director of the Dayton Art Institute from 1974 to 1991, died Tuesday, May 14 at the age of 72.

Murray Frum, developer and art collector, who bequeathed his formidable collection to the Art Gallery of Ontario, died in May at age 81.

Iranian artist Sadegh Tirafkan, who blended photography with other media, died on May 9 at the age of 47.

Controversial artist Otto Muehl, a founder of Viennese Actionism, and founder of the Friedrichshof commune died May 26 at the age of 87.

Artist Jane Haskell, whose neon work "River of Light" is installed in Pittsburgh's 'T' system Steel Plaza station, died May 28 at age 89.

Art dealer Walter Moos, dubbed Toronto's ‘The father of Yorkville’, died in June at the age of 86.

Mexican artist Arturo Vega, who designed graphics for the Ramones, died on June 7 at age 65.

Seth Siegelaub, dealer and curator of conceptual art in New York in the 1960s and 1970s, died on June 15 at age 71.

John Hightower, head of the New York State Council on the Arts in 1964, died on July 6 at age 80. He is most known for running the Museum of Modern Art for only 19 months beginning in May 1970, during turbulent anti-war and art activism demonstrations.

Traditional painter George Weissbort died on July 9 at age 85.

British artist John Wright, who was also a writer, designer, and filmmaker, died July 9 at 82 years old.

Renowned Canadian painter Alex Colville and former Acadia University chancellor died on July 16 at the age of 92.

Seattle photographer Johsel Namkung, who had classical voice training, died July 22 at age 94.

Film and video artist Jud Yalkut died July 23 at the age of 75.

Avant-garde artist Walter De Maria, whose work encompassed Minimalism, conceptual art, land art, and installation art, died on July 25 at the age of 77. 

California sculptor Ruth Asawa, who was the first Asian American female sculptor in the country to achieve recognition, died August 5 at the age of 87.

English painter Anne Christopherson died on August 15 at age 91.

Los Angeles muralist Frank Martinez died August 17 at age 89.

Artist Stephen Antonakos, known for neon light sculpture, died on August 17 at age 86.

Northern California sculptor David Gilhooly, who was a founder of the Bay Area funk art movement at UC Davis in the early 1960s died August 21 at age 70.

Scottish figurative painter John Bellany, died August 28 at age 71.

American painter Jack Beal, known for New Realism of the 1960s and 1970s, died on August 29, 2013, at the age of 82.

Painter Mark Gottsegen,and the founder of Art Materials Information and Education Network (AMIEN), died September 24. He was the author of The Painter’s Handbook.

South African-born and Los Angeles art dealer Leslie Sacks, who ran gallery spaces at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica and in Brentwood, died September 26 at the age of 61.

Painter Alfred Rozelaar Green, who founded the Anglo-French Art Centre in London,  died in September at the age of 95.

Artist Ellen Lanyon, died on October 7 at age 86.

British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, widely seen as one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century, died October 23 at the age of 89.

Argentinian conceptual artist León Ferrari 404died at the age of 92. Even though his controversial art was denounced by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he won a Golden Lion in Venice in 2007.

Curator Karin Higa, a specialist in Asian American art at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, died in October at age 47.

Highly esteemed art critic Arthur Danto, who was a Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, died October 25 at the age of 89. He famously wrote about why Andy Warhol's Brillo Boxes were art, and how the supermarket brand was not.

Australian sculptor Marea Gazzard died in November at the age of 85.

Australian graphic artist Martin Sharp, known for his psychedelic design of Cream record albums, died in November at the age of 71.

Australian artist John Peart died in November at the age of 68, three months after the death of his friend and fellow artist Roy Jackson.

Billionaire and philanthropist Peter B. Lewis, who was a key patron of architect Frank Gehry, died on November 23 at age 80.

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