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Umbrella Online - Current Issue

umbrella on line

ISSN 0160-0699

Volume 30, No. 1, Mar 2007

ArtPEOPLE

Awards

Pete Seeger and along witih Paul DuBois Jacobs have won the Schneider Family Book Award for “books that embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” Their book, The Deaf Musicians, tells of a young boy who forms a jazz group with other deaf performers, becoming a sensation for their nightly subway concerts.

Spencer Platt, an American photographer with the Getty Images photo agency, won the 2006 World Press Photo Award for news photography. He was selected for a picture of the aftermath of the Israeli bombing in Lebanon, showing a group of Lebanese driving through a devastated Beirut neighborhood. The photo was taken on 15 August 2006.

Passings

Dan Christensen, an abstract painter best known for his unfettered use of color in various styles, including Color Field painting and lyrical abstraction, died in Jauary at the age of 64. His work is in the Museum of Modern Art, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden, a renowned and popular botanical artist whose subjects ranged from the flowers found in Shakespeare to the weeds found in New York City, died in January at the age of 99. She was recognized for the anatomical accuracy and beauty of her paintings. She worked mainly in watercolors, depicting detailed images of flowers, insects, herbs and birds.

Jules Olitski, a painter and sculptor who became a widely admired and controversial member of the second generation of American abstract artists, died in February at the age of 84 of cancer. He rose to prominence in the 60s for his Color Field painting. He first used a stain method for his paintings and then turned to spray gun.

Roy Kuhlman, whose jazz-like improvisation paintings and graphics for Grove Press books in the 1950s and 60s introduced an Abstract Expressionistic style to graphic design, died at the age of 83 in Mesa, Arizona. He laid a distinctive identity on the jackets of all the Grove Press books, as well as for the Evergreen Review.

Helmut Wimmer, whose vivid depictiions of twirling planets, glowing comets, pulsing nebulas and space-bending blackholes awed thousands of visitors craning their necks under the dome of the old Hayden Planetarium for more than 30 years, died last March at the age of 80, this only divulged in January 2006. He was the staff artist from 1954 - 1987, producing hundreds of paintings on cardboard sheets. His finely etched paintings were then transferred onto high-resolution slides. Inserted into as many as 200 projectors on the perimeter of the planetarium’s 48-foot-high dome, or into the Zeiss projector standing in the middle, Wimmer’s images wove seamless panoramas of cosmic vistas.

Hans Wegner, whose Danish Modern furniture (mostly his chairs) helped change the course of design history in the 1950s and 60s by sanding modernism’s sharp edges and giving aeesthetes a comfotable seat, died in January at the age of 92.

Iwao Takamoto, the artist who created the mystery-solving Great Dane, Scooby-Doo, among many other indelible cartoon characters, died in January at the age of 81. He learned from professionals at a Japanese-American internment camp, was hired by the Walt Disney studios on the basis of two dime-store notebooks full of sketches, and then went on to Hanna-Barbera studio.

Michael Hurson, a New York-based artist whose drawings and paintings imbued human and inanimate subjects alike with a stylish caricature-ish energy, died in January at the age of 65. His work is in the MOMA, the Whitney, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He was represented by Paula Cooper since 1982.

George Sadek, a former dean of the cooper Union School of Art in Manhattan and founder of its Center for Design and Typogrpahy, who transformed graphic design education by having students work on actual projects for nonprofit institutions, died in February at the age of 78. He also founded the Herb Lubalin Study Center, whose archive is housed at Cooper union.