A creative soul

Iconic Houston artist dies: Friends remember an "unstoppable" international force

Iconic Houston artist dies: Friends remember an "unstoppable" international force

News_Cinema Fest Wrap_Bert Long
Artist Burt Long, Jr. passed away on Friday. He was 72. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Bert Long, Field of Vision, eyeballs
Long's Field of Vision, 50 concrete eyes affixed to multicolored concrete pedestals that represent various ethnic cultures, a permanent installation on Lyons Avenue and Worms Street, Fifth Ward BertLong.com
Bert Long, ice sculpture, Washington, D.C., Carta, 2000, detail
Bert Long, Carta (detail), 2000 BertLong.com
Bert Long, Roma Ah Roma, art car
Roma Ah Roma, 1991 BertLong.com
Bert Long, Gates to Opportunity
Bert Long with his Gates to Opportunity (2002), a permanent installation at E.O. Smith Education Center located in Fifth Ward BertLong.com
News_Cinema Fest Wrap_Bert Long
Bert Long, Field of Vision, eyeballs
Bert Long, ice sculpture, Washington, D.C., Carta, 2000, detail
Bert Long, Roma Ah Roma, art car
Bert Long, Gates to Opportunity

After a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, Houston art legend Bert Long, Jr. died Friday at the age of 72.

"Bert was this quintessential burst of energy and creativity," Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) CEO John Guess, Jr. tells CultureMap. "The man was unstoppable and never missed a beat. He was always a wonderful, supportive friend."

"Bert was this quintessential burst of energy and creativ ity. He was always a wonderful, supportive friend."

A celebrated painter and sculptor — with both an NEA fellowship and Rome Prize to his name — Long was an iconic figure not only in Texas, but throughout the national and international art worlds. His work is found in public collections across the country, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Dallas Museum of Art to New York's Metropolitan Museum.

After breaking his arm this past fall, Long was forced to postpone Everything Bert, HMAAC show of new work that was set to feature his trademark ice sculptures as well as a film about his life and career.

The artist has created a number of public installations in Houston through the years, including his iconic Field of Vision projects in the Third and Fifth Wards.

Bert — a documentary directed by John Guess on Long's life and career — will be screened at the Menil Collection at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14. Further memorial plans will be announced in the days and weeks to come.

ADVERTISEMENT
Get Tickets