Sarah Charlesworth
06.28.13 | No Comments

This week I was heartbroken to hear of the passing of Sarah Charlesworth. It is strange because I have been thinking of her so much lately. Last weekend I had just watched the brilliant film “Guest of Cindy Sherman” which she appears in. I kept reminding myself to contact her, but I never did…

Sarah Charlesworth was my School of Visual Arts MFA in Photo thesis mentor in 2000/2001 and also a huge inspiration to me artistically and conceptually. She was the one that suggested I start doing my photograms on color transparency film instead of just making one of a kinds on paper. That way I could reproduce my work and create editions in the darkroom. I made This whole series on 8×10 film while studying under her guidance at SVA.

I am so thankful to have had Charlesworth and Traub as my teachers. They were so supportive of my very experimental work, especially at a time when the rest of my peers were mostly doing straight documentary and representational photography.

Here are the words from our department chair Charles H. Traub followed by a few of my favorite images by Sarah Charlesworth.

Prayers to her close family and friends.

Charlesworth in New York in 1990. (Photo by Anthony Barboza, courtesy Susan Inglett Gallery)

Dear All,

It is with great sadness and shock that I inform you of the untimely death of our friend, colleague, and mentor Sarah Charlesworth. Apparently, in the past 24 hours, she suffered a brain aneurysm and died without pain or suffering. This is a great loss to all of us personally and indeed to the extended cultural world of which she was a part. At this point, we do not know about funeral services or memorials, but will inform all at the appropriate time.

Sarah was a member of the School of Visual Arts’ Photography, Video & Related Media faculty for 23 years. She was a pillar of this program, a beloved teacher, and remarkable counsel for the issues and directions of our curriculum. Further, we all admired her for her enthusiasm and love of art and her diligence as an artist. She was a great one! Sarah connected the intellectual threads and currents between photography and the conceptual issues of the visual world through her work, which always stood on its own. Each piece was arresting, engaging the viewer in the sheer delight of its visual formation and in the conundrums with which it challenged its audience.

Sarah Charlesworth will be missed in uncountable ways. Her students, her friends, and particularly, her family, are her greatest tribute. This department’s condolences go out to all.

With great sadness,

Charles H. Traub