Archive for the ‘Death notices’ Category

Greg Brown

September 5, 2014

In the (San Francisco mid-peninsula) Daily Post on the 3rd: “Mural artist Greg Brown dies: He brightened up downtown with his amusing paintings” by Elaine Goodman:

Greg Brown, an artist whose whimsical paintings of burglars, space aliens and other creatures enlivened the sides of buildings throughout Palo Alto, has died [on August 29th, at the age of 62]

Brown’s murals are trompe-l’oeil fancies. Some have been destroyed, and others have been re-done at new locations, but a considerable number remain.

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Geoff Leech

August 30, 2014

Died on August 19th, linguist Geoffrey Leech of Lancaster University (in the UK). The quick overview from Wikipedia:

Geoffrey Neil Leech (16 January 1936 – 19 August 2014) was a specialist in English language and linguistics. He was the author, co-author or editor of over 30 books and over 120 published papers. His main academic interests were English grammar, corpus linguistics, stylistics, pragmatics and semantics.

A nice notice on Language Log by Ben Zimmer on the 20th, emphasizing the importance of Geoff’s work in corpus linguistics.

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Elaine Stritch

July 18, 2014

In today’s NYT, “Elaine Stritch, Broadway’s Enduring Dame, Dies at 89″ by Bruce Weber and Robert Berkvist, beginning:

Elaine Stritch, the brassy, tart-tongued Broadway actress and singer who became a living emblem of show business durability and perhaps the leading interpreter of Stephen Sondheim’s wryly acrid musings on aging, died on Thursday [7/17] at her home in Birmingham, Mich.

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Charles Barsotti

June 22, 2014

In the NYT yesterday, an obituary by William Yardley: “Charles Barsotti, Cartoonist With Humor Both Simple and Absurd, Dies at 80″.

Charles Barsotti, a cartoonist for The New Yorker whose jaded canines, outlaw snails and obtuse monarchs made readers laugh for more than 40 years, died on Monday at his home in Kansas City, Mo.

… Mr. Barsotti made pasta talk. He drew hot dogs planning cookouts. His lines were spare and clean, whether drawn or written

That last sentence makes reference to two of  my favorite Barsotti cartoons, both of which happen to have a foodstuff talking on the phone; both have appeared on this blog.

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More deaths

February 14, 2014

Two recent deaths in the news. First, funny man Sid Caesar, who transformed the face of American comedy in the 1950s through Your Show of Shows. Tributes and recollections are everywhere, Second, and less well known, is filmmaker Gabriel Axel.

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Chuck Fillmore

February 14, 2014

From Amy Dahlstrom on Facebook today:

Charles Fillmore died yesterday at age 84 after a long battle with cancer. A brilliant linguist, especially in the field of lexical semantics, who influenced so many of us Berkeley students and colleagues elsewhere. He was sweet and funny and loving, and deeply devoted to [his wife, Berkeley linguist] Lily Wong Fillmore. The loss of my Doktorvater feels like the loss of a parent.

Knowing that this was in the cards, I posted a while back about my beloved friend and colleague Chuck, along with a link to a wonderful video he made about his career in 2012.

A photo:

 

Sorely missed.

Art and craft

December 29, 2013

More on “Is it art?” But this time it’s not art vs.porn, but art vs. craft. From the NYT Magazine‘s annual “The Lives They Lived”issue, a piece on sculptor Ruth Asawa: “The subversively “domestic” artist”, by Robert Sullivan:

Less than five years after graduating from Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, Ruth Asawa’s industrial-wire sculptures were getting notice in the national press, though invariably her pieces were dismissed as women’s craft work, as opposed to art. “These are ‘domestic’ sculptures in a feminine, handiwork mode,” ArtNews said in 1956. Such critiques masked her relentless subversiveness. After dark, on March 18, 1968, she installed her first public sculpture, in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco: two mermaids in a fountain, one nursing a merbaby.

… The landscape architect in charge of the square’s renovation, Lawrence Halprin, described the sculpture as a suburban lawn ornament and sought to replace it with a modernist abstraction — a 15-foot shaft. San Franciscans, especially women, successfully rallied behind Asawa.

One of Asawa’s pieces:

My Favorite Year

December 17, 2013

Peter O’Toole died a few days ago, and there are tributes everywhere. Mostly for his most famous performance, in Lawrence of Arabia. But here I want to celebrate a comic performance that has given me pleasure for 40 years: in My Favorite Year (1982).

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Mandela

December 6, 2013

On the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s death (at 95), reported on in almost every medium, the forthcoming cover of the New Yorker:

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Lou Reed

November 17, 2013

From the New Yorker on the 11th, a touching reminiscence of Lou Reed, who died on October 27th, by Patti Smith: “Mourning Lou Reed”:

I didn’t understand his erratic behavior or the intensity of his moods, which shifted, like his speech patterns, from speedy to laconic. But I understood his devotion to poetry and the transporting quality of his performances. He had black eyes, black T-shirt, pale skin. He was curious, sometimes suspicious, a voracious reader, and a sonic explorer. An obscure guitar pedal was for him another kind of poem. He was our connection to the infamous air of the Factory. He had made Edie Sedgwick dance. Andy Warhol whispered in his ear. Lou brought the sensibilities of art and literature into his music. He was our generation’s New York poet, championing its misfits as Whitman had championed its workingman and Lorca its persecuted.

First there was the Velvet Underground, then solo careers. And, eventually, marriage to Laurie Anderson.

Here are Smith and Reed in 1970, looking impossibly young and cool:


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