The Artists We Lost in 2016
As the year comes to a close, we remember some of the most notable artists and creatives who passed away in 2016. They brought to the world pioneering paintings, innovative design, unprecedented architectural feats, and photographs that captured the struggles, fashions, and cultural obsessions of the last century.
Among them: Thornton Dial, a self-taught artist from Alabama, made intricate, bold assemblages that powerfully channeled the African-American experience. Marisol and Shirley Jaffe, pioneers of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, respectively, helped forge a place for women in both male-dominated movements.
Malick Sidibé harnessed the exuberance of post-colonial Mali in his photographic portraits, while Marc Riboud created an international anti-war icon in his image of a Vietnam war protester holding a flower while facing a line of bayonets, and Bill Cunningham chronicled the ever-changing sartorial trappings of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Premature passings included that of Zaha Hadid, the boundary-pushing, Iraqi-British architect, and Leila Alaoui, a documentary photographer who focused on migration and displacement and died in a terrorist attack, while on assignment for UN Women and Amnesty International in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
While these trailblazing artists are no longer with us, their creative spirits live on in the work they left behind, which, collectively, will continue to inspire generations of artists after them.