In Memoriam: Remembering the Curators, Artists, Writers, and Dealers We Lost in 2021

Kaari Upson and Virgil Abloh were among those we lost in 2021.

Kaari Upson. Photo: Lyndsy Welgos. Courtesy of Sprüth Magers.
Kaari Upson. Photo: Lyndsy Welgos. Courtesy of Sprüth Magers.

As another year draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to look back on those we lost in the art world in 2021.

The list below is arranged according to the date the obituary was published. Links in italics take you to other news outlets; the others take you to Artnet News coverage.

 

January

Barry Le Va at MoMA PS1 in 2016. © Barry Le Va. Photo: C. J. Nolan, David Nolan Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va at MoMA PS1 in 2016. © Barry Le Va. Photo: C. J. Nolan, David Nolan Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va, artist

Roger Mandle, museum director

Corky Lee, photographer

Yvonne Brunhammer, museum director

Carol Johnson, architect

 

February

Richard L. Feigen July 19, 1979. (Photo by William N. Jacobellis/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc./ Getty Images.

Art Luminaries Pay Tribute to Richard Feigen, the ‘Collector in Dealer’s Clothes’ Revered for Championing Old and New Masters Alike

Italian Sculptor Arturo Di Modica, Whose Charging Bull Sculpture Became a Symbol of an Unbridled Wall Street, Has Died at 80

James Bishop, artist

Jason Benjamin, artist

Robert Herbert, scholar

Charles Hill, art detective

Teresa Burga, artist

Cindy Nemser, art historian

Charles McGee, artist

Guy Brett, critic

Rini Dippel, curator

S. Clay Wilson, cartoonist

Don “Street Invader” Leicht, artist

Howard Smith, artist

 

March

Petr Kellner, courtesy of PPF.

Petr Kellner, courtesy of PPF.

Billionaire Czech Art Collector Petr Kellner Has Died in a Helicopter Crash at Age 56

Ernesto Mallard, artist

Barbara Ess, artist

Patrick O’Connell, activist

Marsha Garland, art dealer

Ramzi Dalloul, collector

Doris Ammann, art dealer

Daniel Wolf, collector

Hugh Newell Jacobsen, architect

Christine Nofchissey McHorse, artist

Richard Driehaus, philanthropist

Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, collector

George Bass, archaeologist

Toko Shinoda, artist

Alexander Klee, artist and arts patron

Tony Martin, artist

 

April

Gianluigi Colalucci. (Photo by Gianni GIANSANTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Gianluigi Colalucci. (Photo by Gianni GIANSANTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Gianluigi Colalucci, conservator

Pierre Amiet, archaeologist

Hans Rasmus Astrup, collector

James Prigoff, photographer

William T. Wiley, artist

Eleanor Abell Owen, artist

Michelangelo Lovelace, artist

Allon Schoener, curator

Hans Rasmus Astrup, collector

Barbara Marshall, philanthropist

Bob Ragland, artist

Jeffrey Paley, gallerist

Martina Batan, art dealer

Norman Stone, collector

Winfred Rembert, artist

Kornelios Grammenos, artist

Michael Collins, astronaut and artist

Walter Spitz, artist

 

May

Eli Broad. Photo by Nancy Pastor.

Eli Broad. Photo by Nancy Pastor.

Eli Broad, the Proudly ‘Unreasonable’ Art Collector Who Changed the Cultural Landscape of Los Angeles, Dies at 87

Eric Carle, the Illustrator and Children’s Book Author Whose ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ Sold More Than 55 Million Copies, Is Dead at 91

Richard Nonas, Whose Hand-Wrought Sculptures Helped Define Post-Minimalism, Has Died at 85

Chi Modu, photographer

Jetta Jones, collector

Arturo Luz, artist

Constance Cain Hungerford, art historian

Alain Kirili, artist

William Fagaly, curator

Arthur Gensler, architect

Tair Salakhov, artist

Julião Sarmento, artist

Mary Beth Edelson, artist

Karl Wirsum, artist

 

June & July

French multidisciplinary artist Christian Boltanski during the presentation of his exhibition "Animitas" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, Mexico, on January 21, 2016. Photo: Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP via Getty Images.

French artist Christian Boltanski. Photo: Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP via Getty Images.

French Artist Christian Boltanski, Whose Personal Life Informed His Explorations of Memory and Mortality, Has Died at 76

Susann Craig, collector

Reynold Ruffins, artist

Robert Ellison, collector

Jane Kaufman, artist

Lisa French, archaeologist

Douglas Cramer, collector

Tomás Llorens, art historian

Gottfried Böhm, architect

Phillip King, artist

Kenzi Shiokava, artist

Meg Perlman, curator

 

August

Hung Liu at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Photo by Emily Haight, courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Hung Liu at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Photo by Emily Haight, courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The Art World Remembers the Late Painter Hung Liu, Who Valorized Everyday Immigrants in Monumental Portraits

Kaari Upson, the Multimedia Artist Who ‘Skewered the Fallacies of the American Dream,’ Has Died at 51

The American Artist Chuck Close, Who Created Larger-Than-Life Photorealist Portraits, Has Died at 81

Ernst van de Wetering, scholar

Kim Guiline, artist

Elizabeth Blackadder, artist

Peter Williams, artist

Nancy Frankel, artist

Ilona Royce Smithkin, artist

 

September

Robert Gentile as seen in This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist on Netflix.

Robert Gentile as seen in This is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist on Netflix.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Gentile, Long Fingered by the FBI as a Suspect in the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist, Dies at 85

Soedarmadji Jean Henry Damais, curator

Heiner Pietzsch, collector

Sandy Grotta, collector

Michel Laclotte, museum director

Charlotte Johnson Wahl, artist

Yolanda López, artist and activist

Billy Apple, artist

Norman Laliberté, artist

Edward Keating, photographer

 

October

Margo Leavin, right, with Wendy Brandow. (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Margo Leavin, right, with Wendy Brandow. (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Lars Vilks, artist

Margo Leavin, art dealer

Atta Kwami, artist

Kenneth Baker, critic

Marcia Ross, collector

N. Yunupingu, artist

Julie Green, artist

 

November

Virgil Abloh. Photo by Katrina Wittkamp, courtesy MCA Chicago.

Virgil Abloh. Photo by Katrina Wittkamp, courtesy MCA Chicago.

Virgil Abloh, Creative Genius Whose Vision for Fashion Transcended Boundaries and Crossed Into Art, Has Died at 41

Art Critic Dave Hickey, Whose Caustic Wit and High-Meets-Low Style Made Him Essential Reading for a Generation, Has Died at Age 82

‘She Gave Us Confidence’: Gallerists, Curators, and Friends Remember the Trailblazing Artist and Poet Etel Adnan, Who Has Died at 96

Jimmie Durham, Whose Trenchant Art Needled American Identity and Colonialism, Has Died at 81

Sylvere Lotringer, publisher

Jaider Esbell, artist

Lance “Rambo” De Los Reyes, artist

Achim Borchardt-Hume, curator

Bettina Grossman, artist

Mick Rock, photographer

 

December

Author and cultural critic bell hooks poses for a portrait on December 16, 1996, in New York City. Photo: Karjean Levine/Getty Images.

Remembering bell hooks, Whose Approachable Yet Pointed Writings Laid the Ground for Intersectional Art Criticism

Lawrence Weiner, a Pioneering Conceptualist Who Used Language to Find the Profound in the Prosaic, Has Died at 79

The American Painter Wayne Thiebaud, Who Transformed Cakes Into Symbols of Joy and Longing, Has Died at 101

Jenni Crain, artist and dealer

Richard Rogers, architect

Alison Collins, dealer

Oriol Bohigas, architect

Vassos Karageorghis, archaeologist

Robert Cumming, artist

Clark Richert, artist

Sabine Weiss, photographer

Beverly Russell, design journalist and editor


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