PLANSKY-Carl, artist, teacher, paint maker, died on October 10, 2009 of heart failure at the age of 58. He was a resident of East Meredith and Brooklyn, NY. Born in Miami Beach, Carl moved to New York in 1970 to attend Hans Hofmann's New York Studio School. He also studied with artist Joan Mitchell, a close personal friend and strong influence on his work. His paintings are drawn from direct observation, and revel in pitch-perfect color, compositional elegance, and highly expressive brushwork. Also a respected and influential teacher, he guided students at many institutions, including a return to the New York Studio School from 2004 to the present. Forever dedicated to the craft of oil painting, he began making small batches of handmade paint in the 1980s for himself and artist friends. This would eventually become Williamsburg Oil Paint, now widely regarded as one of the premier oil paint makers in the world and used by some of the most respected artists working today. Carl believed the only life worth living was based in salvation through individualism. Throughout his life, Carl was intensely committed to the honest, almost cathartic, personal expression found through paint, an idea often at odds with contemporary art world trends. It was a position he found equally frustrating and empowering, as he said recently, "the art world is cool and hip. [I am] too hot and passionate." At the time of his death, Carl had become an esteemed and successful artist on his own terms, without compromise or regret. He is survived by his mother, Mitzi Miller, sisters Beverly Plansky and Mary Beth Makias, and partner Chris Brown. A memorial will be held 3pm, Sunday, October 18 at the New York Studio School (8 West 8th Street), where his exhibition Sacred Monsters: Carl Plansky's Divas, is currently on view through Saturday.
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Published in The New York Times on Oct. 15, 2009