In Memoriam

BY Katrina Kufer / Jul 17 2017 / 20:55 PM

Early July sees the passing of three artists who were torchbearers of their local art scenes, from feminist dialogue and portraiture to the boundary between art and reality

In Memoriam
Image courtesy the artist
Ilya Glazunov. The Decline of Europe. 2003. Oil on canvas. 100 × 219 cm.

Mexican artist José Luis Cuevas passed away at age 83. Known for rewriting national art and veering away from muralists and their purported close ties to the government and inauthentic depictions of Mexico — what he referred to as the “cactus curtain” — and being leader of artist collective La Ruptura. While his advancements to the Mexican art scene were riddled with controversy relating to the sexual nature of some of his diverse body of works,  “[Cuevas] will always be remembered as a synonym of liberty, creation and universality,” Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto said on Twitter.

Russian painter Ilya Glazunov, founder of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and artistic director of the Great Kremlin Palace restoration project, has died. His portraiture was held in high regard — he received the State Prize of the Russian Federation and the People’s Artist of the USSR award — despite occasional controversy for his pop-culture and historically inspired works, which challenged national ideology. Glazunov will be buried in Novodevichy Cemetery, the noted final resting place of Moscow’s artistic, political and scientific elite.

Pakistani activist and abstractionist Lala Rukh, founding member of the Women’s Action Forum who fought for equality, women’s rights and minority rights from a feminist perspective, passed away at age 69 from cancer. “Lala Rukh holds great importance for us — not just for her historical contributions to South Asian art and feminist dialogue, but also for what she meant to us in a personal capacity,” said Dubai gallery Grey Noise in a statement. “Grey Noise was founded in the living room of Lala Rukh’s house in December 2007 and in the 17 years of knowing her we forged a relationship closer than blood. Her passing brings us great sorrow, but also a renewed sense of urgency to shed light on her largely unexamined practice and the story of the great woman she was.”

Harper’s Bazaar Art has collaborated with ArteVue. To download the app click here.