Deaths elsewhere

  • Updated: November 21, 2008 - 9:04 PM

Grace Hartigan, 86, an abstract expressionist painter once hailed as the leading female artist of her generation and who later led a Baltimore art school to national prominence, died Nov. 15 of liver failure at a nursing home in Timonium, Md. Hartigan was a brash self-taught artist who began painting in the late 1940s, when the abstract expressionist movement, led by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, was reaching its height. From her first solo exhibition in 1951, she was considered an important artist, and her work sold briskly throughout the decade. The Museum of Modern Art bought one of her paintings in 1953, and she was regularly featured in the news media and in major exhibitions. In 1957, Life magazine called her "the most celebrated of the young American women painters." Her paintings were alive with movement, rhythm and splashes of color. A 1960 Time magazine article said "her strokes seem committed out of rage; the effect is one of extraordinary power." By then, she had left New York for Baltimore and had begun a long descent into critical neglect. She had also begun to include recognizable figures in her paintings, which was seen as a betrayal of abstract expressionist principles. Inspired by what she called the "vulgar and vital in modern American life," Hartigan introduced elements from pop culture and classic art into her paintings. Somewhat to her chagrin, she became known as a founder of pop art, a 1960s movement led by Andy Warhol that emphasized detachment and irony.

Boris Fyodorov, 50, a reformist financier who helped bring Russian economy out of the post-Soviet chaos, had a heart attack in London three weeks ago and died in a clinic there. Fyodorov was among the economists who fostered reforms in Russia before and after the 1991 Soviet collapse. He also founded one of the country's largest investment banks, the United Financial Group. Fyodorov's background was in the planned socialist economy, but he was one of the first Russian financiers to adopt the Western model of a liberal market economy.

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