Equal parts literary and social figure, John Richardson leaves a monumental life of his own alongside his biography of Pablo Picasso
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Page Six reported this evening that Kenny Schachter’s son, Kai, has died in London. The artist was 19.
- “Kai’s death is a devastating loss, he was a hugely gifted artist with a wonderful spirit and a sense of humor that touched everyone he met,” the Rich and Schachter families said in a statement. “The family is asking for privacy at this time as they take time to grieve and gather all of the details.”
The Life of John Richardson
“It’s not just the passing of a friend, but the passing of an era,” Larry Gagosian told ArtNews in a statement yesterday about the death yesterday of John Richardson, the biographer and bon vivant. “We won’t see another like him.”
Richardson led a long and varied life that reached back through history. His own father was born in 1856, early in the reign of Queen Victoria. And though there remain wealthy heirs who travel easily across the art world today, few can hope to match Richardson’s ability to connect broadly through so many aspects of society.
Richardson’s ability to connect personally with artists ranging from Picasso, Braque and Légèr to Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol and Nicolas de Staël was only matched by his rapport with literary figures like Jean Cocteau, W.H. Auden, Nancy Mitford and Tennessee Williams or his social ease among the jet-setters Ahmet Ertegun and Oscar and Annette de la Renta.
Richardson devoted the latter part of his life to a literary pursuit, his four-volume biography of Picasso which the AP’s Hillil Italie, cribbing from Robert Hughes, described as filling the same role for the art-obsessed as “Robert Caro’s Lyndon Johnson series” filled for the politically minded. “Like Leon Edel’s five-volume epic on Henry James and Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce,’ Italie wrote, “Richardson’s books were regarded as biographies of the highest literary quality, graced by knowledge, poetry, passion and insight.”
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