Allan Sekula, 1951-2013

Allan Sekula. | Photo: Steven Gunther

Photographer, writer, filmmaker, theorist, critic and CalArts Art Faculty Allan Sekula passed away Aug. 10 in Calif. He was 62.

Thomas Lawson, Dean of the School of Art, writes of Sekula in East of Borneo:

As a writer, Allan described with great clarity and passion what photography can, and must do: document the facts of social relations while opening a more metaphoric space to allow viewers the idea that things could be different. And as a photographer he set out to do just that. He laid bare the ugliness of exploitation, but showed us the beauty of the ordinary; of ordinary, working people in ordinary, unremarkable places doing ordinary, everyday things. And, like the rigorous old-style leftist that he was, he infused that beauty with a deep sense of morality.

Art lawyer Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento talks about his teacher:

Allan was not only a great artist, he was a rare artist. Rare in that he practiced what he taught, and in line with the small number of teachers that I respect, Allan did not see teaching as an impediment to his artistic practice. Rather, Allan saw teaching and writing as a crucial and necessary part of his praxis…

I will remember Allan for his body of work, his generous outlook on art education, and his undying devotion to disseminating the need for art’s role as a critical apparatus. Thank you, Allan. You will be missed.

Read more about Sekula in an obituary written by his wife, Sally Stein.

The Los Angeles Times wrote about Sekula’s passing in the Arts & Culture section.

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