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Willoughby Sharp R.I.P. 1936 - 2008

Obituary of Willoughby Sharp in the New York Times, December 31, 2008

I have been watching the pages of the New York Times for an obituary of Willoughby Sharp. Joseph Nechvatal emailed me from Paris this morning with news of its publication.

The piece, by Margalit Fox, is found on page B16 of the New York print edition of December 31, 2008. It appeared online a day earlier, accompanied by a 1967 picture of Willoughby with long hair, dark glasses and wearing a white turtleneck/tunic ensemble.

I also referenced the piece on the Sharpville site.

Willoughby Sharp, 72, Versatile Avant-Gardist, Is Dead
Published: December 30, 2008

Even by conceptual-art standards, Willoughby Sharp’s work stood out. There was his gestational spin in a clothes dryer. There was the curious affair of the talcum powder, the teddy bear and the tab of LSD. And there was the Oklahoma Gun Incident, which members of the art world still discuss, with a mixture of horror and awe, more than 30 years later.

Mr. Sharp, the Ivy League-educated scion of one of New York’s most socially prominent families, who in the 1960s and afterward was on the cutting edge of the American avant-garde as a performer, producer, writer, publisher, curator, video artist and much else, died on Dec. 17 in Manhattan. He was 72 and lived in Brooklyn.

Sharpville, a website in memory of Willoughby Sharp

Sharpville is a website started earlier this year as "a meeting place for friends and lovers of Willoughby Sharp". It is open to participation by all: to view or add photos and videos, to participate in the discussion forum or chat room, to share tall tales and innumerable stories, to announce events. The photo above (from 1985) and the video below (from the 2007 restrospective exhibition at Mitchell Algus Gallery) are both taken from the site.

Willoughby passed away early in the morning on Wednesday, December 17, 2008, at St. Rose's Home on the Lower East Side, after a long battle with throat cancer. He is survived by his longtime partner Pamela Seymour Smith and by our fond collective memories.

WILLOUGHBY SHARP -- 1936 - 2008 -- R.I.P.

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