The cultural world lost three members in recent months—creators of large, medium and pint-size works.
Sculptor Coosje van Bruggen created large-scale public art in collaboration with her husband Claes Oldenburg. The couple’s 40-plus site-specific sculptures include the 38-foot-high “Flashlight” at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; “Cupid’s Span,” a massive bow-and-arrow embedded in Rincon Park, San Francisco; and “Spoonbridge and Cherry” at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Van Bruggen died in January at age 66.
Ceramic artist Mary Ann Charette, who died in early December at the age of 78, was known for her porcelain and raku pieces featuring animals in motion. Her work was featured recently in the book 500 Animals in Clay. Charette maintained a studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Va., which held a memorial exhibition of her work in March.
Hans Beck spent three years developing the tiny toy people that would be released in 1974 as Playmobil figures. Now called the “Father of Playmobil,” Beck continued refining the toys and developing new products for the company until his retirement in 1998. He died in Germany in February at the age of 79.