In Memoriam | Remembering Artists We Lost in 2016
Photo: PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 01: Photographer Bill Cunningham working during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014 on October 1, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
2016 has been a tough year as so many wonderful, inspiring artists and visionaries have passed on. Crave honors the bold and brilliant people whose spirit lives on in their work.
Bob Adelman (October 30, 1930-March 19, 2016) was an American photographer best known for his images of the Civil Rights Movement. Crave featured his work in a review of the exhibition This Light of Ours, which celebrated the activist photographers who were on the front lines. Adelman photographed everyone from Malcolm X to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but his archive went well beyond this to include photographs of New York art legends including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and James Rosenquist, as well as the seminal volume, Gentlemen of Leisure: A Year in the Life of a Pimp.
Leila Alaoui (July 10, 1982-January 18, 2016) was just 33 when she died from injuries suffered in an Al-Qaeda terrorist attack on the Cappuccino Restaurant and Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Alaou was a French-Moroccoan photographer and video artist who worked as a commercial photographer for magazines and NGOs, where she focused her talents on documenting the realities of cultural identity and diversity, migration, and displacement.
Howard Bingham (May 29 1939-December 15, 2016) was born to a minister and Pullman conductor in Jackson, Mississippi. He began his career in photography working at a local newspaper, where he met a young Cassius Clay. They had an instant connection that would span their entire lives, both dying in the same year. Bingham became Muhammad Ali’s biographer creating the definitive volume, Muhammad Ali: A Thirty Year Journey (Simon & Schuster 1993) as well as becoming one of the first African American photographers to work on a Hollywood International Cinematographers Guild camera crew. Among Bingham’s many accomplishments were his seminal photographs of the Black anther Party for LIFE magazine, as well as an interview with James Earl Ray, the man hired by the United States government to assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bill Cunningham (March 13, 1929-June 25, 2016) was an American fashion photographer who worked for The New York Times, who was as famous and heralded as his subjects. Best known for his candid street photography on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, Cunningham was a reporter in the truest sense of the word. He had an eye for style that made you smile with joy when he pointed his camera in your direction. The documentary film, Bill Cunningham New York, provides an incredible look at a man whose integrity matched his gifts.
Ruth Gruber (September 30, 1911-November 17, 2016) was an American journalist, photographer, humanitarian, and the subject of the 2001 television biopic, Haven, starring Natasha Richardson and Anne Bancroft, as well as the 2010 documentary Ahead of Time. Born in Brooklyn to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Gruber began reporting on the rise of Nazism in Germany in 1935 for The New York Herald Tribune. During World War II, she worked as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior. In 1944, she was assigned a secret mission to Italy to bring1,000 Jewish refugees and wounded American soldiers back home. After the war she returned to journalism, where she covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946, and the plight of Jewish refugees after the war and the problems they encountered with the U.S. and UK governments. She died at the age of 105.
Dame Zaha Hadid (October 31, 1950-March 31, 2016) was an Iraqi-born British architect. She became first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 2015. Her work was fluid, sweeping, and liberated from the hard-edged geometry that has dominated architecture for centuries. Her work created multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry that evoked the dual energies of chaos and flux so common to modern life. A visionary who has been showing her work in commissions around the globe as well as museum exhibitions dating back to her 1978 debut at the Guggenheim in New York, Hadid had established herself as one of the foremost, unconventional, original thinkers of our time.
Marisol (May 22, 1930-April 30 2016) was a French sculptor of Venezuelan heritage who dropped her last name, Escobar, in order to liberate herself from patrilineal identity, becoming one of the first one-name women sensations. When Pop Art exploded on the New York scene she was at the forefront of it all. She appeared in Warhol films The Kiss and 13 Most Beautiful Girls, adding to her mystique and prestige as one of the few female artists on the scene. She embraced the feminine, making herself a target of feminists and art critics alike, while commenting on the intersections between gender and race. All told, she was decades ahead of her time and a singular creation all her own.
Billy Name, born William George Linich, (February 22, 1940-July 18, 2016) was an American photographer, filmmaker, lighting designer, and archivist for Andy Warhol’s Factory, where he lived from 1964 to 1970. He became a jack-of-all-trades at the Factory, helping out with whatever was needed at the time. He converted one of the bathrooms into a darkroom, where he spent hours without any human interaction. His photographs were used for the covers of The Velvet Underground albums including White Light/White Heat, The Velvet Underground, and the gatefold sleeve to The Velvet Underground and Nico. He left the Factory in 1970 to pursue his own projects.
Marc Riboud (June 24, 1923-August 30, 2016) was a French photographer who joined the illustrious Magnum Photos back in 1953. With a career that spanned six decades and every corner of the globe, Riboud became best known for his famous photograph, Flower Girl, that depicted a 17-year-old girl standing in from of armed troops outside the Pentagon, their bayonets raised and at the ready during the height of anti-Vietnam War protests. In response to their aggression, she raising a flower in an act of peace, love, and humanity. Crave recently featured his work in a review of the pocket paperback Marc Riboud (Thames & Hudson).
Malick Sidibé (born 1935 or 1936-April 14, 2016) was a Malian photographer loved worldwide for his black-and-white photographs taken in his Bamako studio during the 1960s. Hailing from the village of Soloba, Sidibé was the first member of his family to attend school, going on to open Studio Malick in the nation’s capital in 1957. He would work all day at the studio then head out at night, hitting the clubs and the parties, then hading back to the studio to develop his photographs. He then began taking in-studio portraits that defined the joie de vivre of young Mali on the cusp of independence from France. Crave recently covered Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali, the first major solo exhibition in the UK of his work, on view at Somerset House, London, now through January 5, 2017.
Louis Stettner (November 7, 1922-October 13, 2016) was an American photographer who created some of the most memorable streetscapes, portraits, and architectural images of New York and Paris in the twentieth century. Stettner, who began his professional career in Paris following World War II, worked alongside masters like Robert Doisneau and Brassai, creating modern day stories of city life with subjects that included the subways, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Seine, the Bowery, and workers. Crave recently covered his book Penn Station, New York (Thames & Hudson), a large format volume featuring 66 photographs made in 1957-8 documenting the humble majesty of daily life.
Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.