‘I Chose the Light. It Was the Devil’: At the Rene Ricard Memorial

'Rene Ricard' (1986) by Allen Ginsberg. (© Allen Ginsberg Estate)

Rene Ricard, the art critic, chronicler of downtown Manhattan, poet, painter, gadabout and gadfly who died on Feb. 1 at the age of 67, was also a fan of Negronis. As scores of people ducked out of the cool drizzle into the Eldridge Street Synagogue for a memorial in his honor on a recent Thursday evening, they found bartenders not only steadily pouring wine but also shaking the cocktails. They’d be at it all night. Read More


Sturtevant, Uncompromising Progenitor of Appropriation Art, Has Died

Sturtevant in her 2004 show in Frnakfurt. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty Images)

Sturtevant, whose repetitions of now-iconic Pop and Minimal artworks in the 1960s anticipated the rise of appropriation art more than a decade later and formed the core of one of the most radical and beguiling artistic practices of the past 50 years, has died in Paris. Artforum confirmed the news. Some published reports put her age at 84, though as with so much about her life and art, that cannot be stated with absolute certainty. (Other sources say she was born in 1924.) Read More


Austrian Artist Maria Lassnig, Giant of Postwar Painting, Has Died at 94

Lassnig. (Photo by Sepp Dreissinger)

Austrian artist Maria Lassnig, whose brushy, psychologically tense, sometimes darkly comic paintings affected generations of artists over the course of her 70-plus-year career, died today at a hospital in Vienna. She was 94. Her death was confirmed by one of her galleries, Hauser and Wirth, and has been reported in the European press. She has no immediate survivors.

Lone figures typically occupy Ms. Lassnig’s paintings, often partially disfigured or abstracted and in the midst of all kinds of unspeakable mental and emotional trauma. Many are chilling, fleshy self-portraits. In one a plastic bag covers her head, in another she holds a gun up to her temple. A survey of them now on view at MoMA PS1 shows that, though tastes changed, her core devotion to her unflinching practice did not. Read More


Hudson, Dealer and Mentor, Has Died at 63

A portrait of Hudson by Judy Linn, who shows at Feature Inc. (Courtesy the artist/Feature Inc.)

The art dealer known simply as Hudson, who founded the Lower East Side gallery Feature Inc., died on Sunday. He was 63. Though he had lived with HIV for many years, his close friend Jimi Dams, who runs Envoy Enterprises on Rivington Street, said that he died unexpectedly of natural causes. An artist himself, Hudson was widely known for forging his own set of rules and for running his gallery with a particular sensitivity to the needs of his artists.

“For him it was important to have a relationship with the artist, that the artist felt they had a home, that they didn’t feel that they needed to make what the gallery said they need to make, that they could show what they wanted to show,” said Mr. Dams. “The gallery was not market driven.” Read More


Nancy Holt, Visionary Land Artist, Dies at 75


Nancy Holt, a pioneering artist who could create monumental Land Art masterpieces and 6-minute videos with equal aplomb, died on Feb. 8 in New York at the age of 75. 

“She was the nicest, kindest, warmest person imaginable,” said critic and curator Phyllis Tuchman, who had known Ms. Holt and her late husband, the artist Robert Smithson, for decades. Read More


Rene Ricard Has Died

Sante D'Orazio Other Graces Opening Reception

Rene Ricard, the Massachussets-born artist and poet who was a fixture of New York’s art world since he arrived in 1965, has died. He passed away early this morning in Bellevue Hospital, said the artist Brice Marden, who had known Ricard since the 1960s. He died of cancer. Read More


Retrospective: At the Guggenheim’s Memorial for Director Thomas M. Messer

Messer in 1985. (Photo by David M. Heald, courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation)

On Monday evening, a smart but solemn art set, which included Pace Gallery founder Arne Glimcher and his art historian wife, Milly, as well as longtime Art News magazine publisher Milton Esterow, gathered at the Guggenheim to honor the memory of perhaps the museum’s most esteemed director, Thomas M. Messer, who passed away in May. He served at the museum from 1961, two years after it moved to its Frankl Lloyd Wright-designed home, until 1988, and oversaw numerous landmark shows, including an important 1979 show of German artist Joseph Beuys’s work. Read More