Monday, June 17, 2024

RIP Donald Baechler, 65, Whimsical Much Hailed Artist Who Rose to Fame in the Heady 1980s


I did not know Donald Baechler personally but I really admired him as an artist. He’s one of the few important, great artists of my actual generation, someone who made an impact and a difference. He died April 4th from a heart attack at age 66 and I am still waiting for the New York Times to give him a proper obituary.

Baechler came from Hartford, Connecticut but hit the New York art scene in the 1980s. He’s got pieces in most major museums, and has been exhibited everywhere. His gallery, Cheim & Read, said in a statement: “Donald is a great and unique artist, and we are deeply saddened by his sudden and unexpected passing,” the spokesperson said. Our thoughts are with his family and his partner who survive him.”

Baechler’s pictures seemed simplistic but they are incredibly evocative. He did a poster for the Hamptons Film Festival several years ago that I am proud to own. Likewise, I have one of his lithographs of a telephone. He loved to make objects like flowers especially, globes, ice cream cones whimsical at times, threatening at others.

Condolences to whoever out there is connected to him. Much too soon.

Thanks to Patrick McMullan for the photo.


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Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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