Remembering the Artists We Lost in 2023


Left to right, top row: Kenneth Anger, Majd Arandas, Phyllida Barlow, Fernando Botero, Kwame Brathwaite, Françoise Gilot; bottom row: Brice Marden, Juanita McNeely, Barbara Rossi, O’Shae Sibley, Vivan Sundaram, Heba Zagout (image courtesy lines in obituary links below)

As the year winds down, it’s a moment of reflection and remembrance for many. Here at Hyperallergic, we thought it fitting to look back on the work of 10 painters, filmmakers, performers, and other cherished creators who are no longer with us — and by asking you, our readers, to help us celebrate the lives of the artists we lost in 2023.

Through the end of the year, we will be adding names to this list based on readers’ submissions of artists in their community who passed this year. If you’d like to submit a name, please email us with a verified obituary link and two to three sentences describing this person’s artistic contributions and what they meant to you. That might take the form of a personal anecdote or a work that profoundly impacted you. Our aim is to create a communal patchwork of memories that lives on, just like art.


Kenneth Anger (1927–2023)
The Californian avant-garde filmmaker, actor, author, and occultist, best known for his experimental short films and his contributions to queer cinema, died in May at the age of 96. Read about Anger here.

Majd Arandas (1994–2023)
The Palestinian photographer whose works center life, hardship, and joy in the Gaza Strip was killed by an Israeli airstrike in November. He was 29. Read about Arandas here. 

Phyllida Barlow (1944–2023)
The British artist celebrated for her sculptures made of everyday materials, which she lovingly characterized as “nonmonumental,” died in March at the age of 78. Read about Barlow here.

Fernando Botero (1932–2023)
The Colombian painter and sculptor of voluptuous figures, whose immediately recognizable canvases explored volume and sensuality, died in September at the age of 91. Read about Botero here.

Kwame Brathwaite (1938–2023)
The Brooklyn-born photographer who documented Black culture and political movements, popularizing the ethos of “Black is Beautiful,” died in April at the age of 85. Read about Brathwaite here.

Françoise Gilot (1921–2023)
The prolific French artist, leading figure of the School of Paris, and author of the refreshingly candid 1964 memoir Life With Picasso died in June at the age of 101. Read about Gilot here.

Brice Marden (1938–2023)
The New York-born artist, whose emotive and ever-evolving canvases innovated postwar abstract painting, died in August at the age of 84. Read about Marden here.

Juanita McNeely (1936–2023)
The St. Louis-born, Manhattan-based painter, whose mesmerizing renderings of women’s bodies centered the urgency of reproductive rights, died in October at the age of 87. Read about McNeely here.

Barbara Rossi (1940–2023)
The Catholic nun-turned-artist, a member of the Chicago Imagist group of the 1960s and ’70s, died in August at the age of 82. Read about Rossi here.

O’Shae Sibley (1994–2023)
The Brooklyn-based performer, recognized for his unique reinterpretations of vogueing and other dance styles embraced by queer people of color, died in August at the age of 28. Sibley was killed in an alleged hate incident that profoundly shocked and saddened New York City’s arts community. Read about Sibley here and here.

Vivan Sundaram (1943–2023)
The Indian artist and activist, who was praised for his political consciousness and his work’s focus on oppressed populations, died in March at the age of 79. Read about Sundaram here.

Heba Zagout (1984–2023)
The Palestinian painter and school teacher known for her vibrant landscapes and scenes from Gaza and Jerusalem was killed in Israel airstrikes on Gaza in October. She was 39. Read about Zagout here.



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