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Local art legend Barbara Ess dies

Mar 05, 2021 2:30 pm
Art Forum reports that local art legend Barbara Ess died March 4 at the age of 73. The magazine called her, "a boundary-pushing photographer, musician, and writer, and the creator of [a] No Wave experimental media zine." Ess taught photography at Bard College beginning in 1997, and has art works in the permanent collections of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is known for her pinhole photography, and her 2001 collaboration with experimental filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh on the album "Radio Guitar" for Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. She performed in no wave bands Disband and Y Pants, and worked with avant-garde musician and composer Glenn Branca in the Static. “I think of my work as an investigation and it’s always concerned with the same question,” she told the LA Times. “Exactly what is the true nature of reality?” Read more about this story in Art Forum.