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The Young Dead

from The Irish Times

The shining stars who burned out too soon

AIDAN DUNNE

Thu, Nov 27, 2008

VISUAL ART:A NUMBER OF ARTISTS who died fairly recently and prematurely but whose influence is still very much alive are featured in Now’s the Timeat the Hugh Lane Gallery.

It’s an interesting idea for a show, because there is, sadly, no shortage of potential participants. The reasons for early demise vary, but the usual suspects, including drugs and drink, certainly feature, though not as prominently as cruel illnesses and misadventure – the gifted Helen Chadwick, for example, was killed by heart failure induced by a rare virus. But there was much speculation that her infection with the virus may have been related to the micro-organisms she was using in her work.

Chadwick remains a highly significant artist, not least for the way she pioneered the idea of the body as the site of art rather than something to be depicted. Jean-Michel Basquiat, the graffiti artist turned art world superstar, and protégé of Andy Warhol, succumbed to his insatiable appetite for a mixture of heroin and cocaine. A victim of his own success and prone to depression, he was still in his 20s when he died in 1988.

[ click to continue reading at The Irish Times ]

Posted on November 30, 2008 by Editor

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