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.