Richard Marshall, an independent curator, art historian and art consultant based in New York City and La Jolla, California, died unexpectedly on August 8, 2014, at his home in La Jolla. Born in Los Angeles in 1947 and educated at the University of California, Irvine, he moved to New York City to enroll in the Art History/Museum Studies Program at the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art. A highly respected figure in the art world, he was known for his connoisseurship, prescience and kindness. His support of artists both emerging and established was legendary. Richard was a dignified and gentle man, unfettered by convention, who refrained from judgment. Worldly and well-travelled, Richard's insatiable curiosity was manifested in diverse collections of contemporary art, Mexican silver, vintage pottery and post cards. He was a loving spouse, generous friend and bon vivant. |
For twenty years from 1974-1993 he was Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he organized numerous Biennial Exhibitions of contemporary art, and many seminal one-artist and group exhibitions including New Image Painting, Ceramic Sculpture, The New Sculpture 1965-75: Between Geometry and Gesture, American Art Since 1970, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jonathan Borofsky, Alexander Calder, Alex Katz, Robert Kushner, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, and Joel Shapiro, among others.
Richard organized international exhibitions of Louise Bourgeois (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico; and Contemporary Art Museum, Seville, Spain); Edward Ruscha (Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid); Alexander Calder (Japan Art and Culture Association, Tokyo); Robert Mapplethorpe (Mitsukoshi Museum, Tokyo); Jean-Michel Basquiat (Serpentine Gallery, London); Joan Mitchell (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia, Spain); Georgia O'Keeffe (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia); and Jack Pierson (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin).
Richard's books include, Ed Ruscha (Phaidon Press); Jack Pierson; Desire Despair (Rizzoli International); Georgia O'Keeffe; Nature and Abstraction (Skira Publishers); and Kenny Scharf (Rizzolli International), among others. He served as art editor of the Paris Review from 1975-1990.
Since 2003, Richard served as Curator of The Lever House Art Collection – a collection of works commissioned for display at the Lever House's outdoor plaza and glass-enclosed lobby, located at Park Avenue and 53rd Street, New York. The first commission was a neon installation by Keith Sonnier. Subsequent commissions included ambitious works by Jorge Pardo, John Chamberlain, Damien Hirst, Peter Wegner, Barnaby Furnas, Jeff Koons, E.V. Day, Sarah Morris, Folkert de Jong, Enoc Perez, Tom Friedman, Richard Dupont, Tom Sachs, Liza Lou, and Paula Hayes.
In addition, Richard was a former member of the Authentication Committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Byzantine Fresco Foundation, The Menil Collection, Houston; and a member of the Advisory Board of the Alexander Calder Foundation, New York, and a Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
He is survived by his spouse, William T. Georgis; sister, Shirley (Stephen) Capic; nieces, Sarah and Megann Capic; aunt, Donna Meagher; and cousin, Kathleen Meagher.
There are no immediate plans for services.
Donations may be made in his honor to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego for acquisitions.
Published in La Jolla Light on Aug. 14, 2014