Linda Givon, the larger than life founder of the Goodman Gallery and undisputed doyenne of the South African art world for decades, died this morning. She was 84.
Linda was born in Johannesburg in 1936, and opened the doors of the Goodman Gallery November 25, 1966, determined to bring the work of international artists like Italian sculptor Mimo Palladino and American painter Jim Dine to a South African audience, and more importantly, to provide a professional gallery setting for the work of local artists, like Norman Catherine, Dumile Feni, William Kentridge, Ezrom Legae and Cecil Skotnes, to name a few.
After thirty years in her gallery in Hyde Park, exhibiting a growing list of artists through the stressful and oppressive apartheid years and into the new democracy, the Goodman moved to a handsome new space in Parkwood in 1997.
In 2008, Linda sold the gallery to Liza Essers, who became the new director.
In retirement, Linda continued her interest in the art world, sponsoring exhibitions and projects and had planned to visit William Kentridge’s current exhibition at the Goodman this week.
It is difficult to imagine the South African art world without her. ArtThrob sends our deepest sympathy to her family.