The fields of art and architecture lost several notable names in 2012.
The most high-profile death was that of Thomas Kinkade, the self-anointed “Painter of Light” who died in April at 58 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. Kinkade gained a worldwide following for his paintings of cozy cottages and serene landscapes, but he was reviled by critics and most serious art connoisseurs.
In Los Angeles, the year began on a sad note with the apparent suicide of Mike Kelley. The artist died in January at 57. Known for his transgressive work in installations and performance, Kelley channeled a rebellious spirit even as he was recognized by the artistic establishment.
Michael Asher, another local artist with an international reputation, died in October at 69. Karl Benjamin, the abstract painter who lived in Claremont, passed away in July at 86.