Linda Ann Givon (2 August 1936 – 5 October 2020)

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Liza Essers (Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg)

“Linda was a true force of nature, pioneer and patron of the arts. She afforded me an amazing opportunity to take the helm of her gallery and it is my sincere hope to continue to build upon her legacy. The South African and African contemporary art world is hugely indebted to Linda for her vision and unwavering stewardship. She will be sorely missed." - Liza Essers, Goodman Gallery Owner and Director

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Neil Dundas  (Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg)

A Woman for all seasons. Linda was a mentor, pioneer, patron, influencer and leader whose Brave, principled stand for freedom in the arts and the rights of all human beings in a time when her country did not recognise those rights, truly distinguished her.

In the words of Sue Williamson this morning, “Linda’s vision, determination, fearlessness and chutzpah were key in making the international art world sit up and take note of her Goodman Gallery artists...”

Linda was a renaissance woman and played a huge role in my life, opening doors and opportunities for me which otherwise I would have perhaps not have seen. Her role in making space for the talents of many great artists in South Africa earned her the deserved status and reputation of a living legend in her lifetime. She was a rock in her championship of liberated voices, pens, cameras, pencils and brushes, and the role of art in a new South Africa. Her influence will be felt for a very long time and her legacy is enormous and shall be treasured by many.

I am joined by my colleagues, many artists and friends in wishing long life and heartfelt condolences to Linda’s brother Michael, daughter Lee, son Robert and their families. An immense tree has fallen in the forest of our culture.

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Kendell Geers, Brussels, Belgium.

 

Linda's passing marks the end of an era. She was a unique living historical monument, a generous eccentric patron, collector and the original cornerstone for all South African Galleries. For more than half a century she was uncompromising in her love for artists and passionate about their art. All it took to remember Linda forever was one brief encounter because she was as outspoken as she was generous. Everyone she loved became part of her family and she protected this huge extended clan like a visionary matriarch, using the sharpest sense of humor when necessary to cut through every problem and tension. Linda was more than a mother to all of us and her absence will fill this dark year with even more sadness. May Linda rest in peace, protected by our love and remembered by countless vivid memories, stories, legends and tales about South Africa's First Lady of Art.

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Kirsty Wesson, Goodman Gallery.

 

Linda, you were a truly formidable force in the history of the art world at large, but most especially your contribution to the contemporary art landscape in Southern Africa, and your undeniable unwavering support of artists during the most turbulent times in South African history and beyond, will never be frogotten. My mentor, my friend, this is the end of an era. I will miss you wholeheartedly, but feel truly blessed to have known you and had the privilege of working by your side for as long as I did. ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’ - Love Kirsty 

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Bev Breeds

 

Thank you for leaving such a legacy in the Southern African contemporary art world. And being such a amazing Mentor to my daughter Kirsty. RIP Linda.

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Yinka Shonibare CBE

I was really sorry to hear of Linda’s passing, she was an incredibly important person for us all. She did it her way, a very powerful soul, may she rest in peace.

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Elvira Dyangani Ose

I wanted to send my condolences for the passing of Linda Givon. I imagine it hasn't been easy, but the consolation is that she did so much in her life that would count as many many lives. Particularly considering those she touched and supported. Just want to say that I'm with you and your team.

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Allen R. Adler 

Lisa— Our condolences Allen Adler

 

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Pamela Grayman 

Good afternoon,

Such sad news.  I bought my first piece of art from her in 1976.

She was a formidable woman.

If you are forwarding mail to her family, please extend my sympathy and best wishes for a long life.

Regards

Pamela

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Nina Frank 

That's sad to hear.  I didn't know her personally but value what she brought to the world of art.

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João Ferreira 

My sincere condolences. Linda was a great supporter of my gallery. 

 

I will always remember her. 

 

Best João 

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Margot Muir

How very sad. Our condolences to her family and friends.

 

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Wayne Chisnall 

 

I'm so sorry to hear of Linda's passing.

 

My thoughts are with you all.

 

Love,

 

Wayne

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Monique Vajifdar 

My association with the GG goes back over 30 years, and Linda's passing is a great sadness to me. 

I wish you and your staff Long Life

Love Monique 

 

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Yvette Christianse

This is a loss, truly. Our home is a haven of places at which to stand, to pause and inhale thanks to Goodman Gallery. Our walls open to lives and worlds that bring us out of ourselves and into that most ethical of expectations and challenges, namely to come face to face with another whose alterity we accept and whose affinities we do not take for granted. Each room of our home contains the luck of such encounters and this luck began with Linda and Neil who embraced our eager, timid hopes of buying our first pieces. It continues with Lisa and Neil. Our deepest sympathies go out to Linda's family, and to all at Goodman--staff and artists who had that luck, too, of knowing her. We miss her already. We will take time today to pause in front of our favorite pieces and think of her with a mix of newly grieving joy.

Yvette Christiansë and Rosalind Morris

 

Claire Tow Professor

Chair, Africana Studies Department

Director, Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies

 

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Myrna Ossip 

 

Thank you Neil for letting us know about Linda. She truly was a great force in the art world and introduced us to many wonderful art works, which we still love and treasure. If you can forward Michael’s and Aunene’s email address to us, I would really appreciate it. We were close friends when we were all young, but have lost touch since we all immigrated to different countries.

Thank you

Myrna and Martin.

 

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Mary Angela Schroth

 

Ricordiamo bene Linda, grande personaggio, quando è venuta a Roma per la vendita dei lavori di Kentridge.  Forse 20 anni fa.

Ci dispiace molto, condoglianze alla famiglia.

Mary Angela Schroth

 

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Gavin Jantjes


I am in tears. This is devastating news. 
There are a handful of South Africans who I hold in very high regard and Linda is one of them. Not only has South Africa lost one of its great human beings, its art sector has lost its most important champion. I can say without hesitation that without her dedication and insight the high regard South African art and artist have in the world today would not be possible. I will miss her laughter and her enthusiasm, her down to earth straight forward comments and her love of artists. I thank you for continuing her legacy and expanding the Goodman Gallery into  an ever growing art world. 
We are all today heart broken but tomorrow we will be proud of what she achieved.

Sincerely

Gavin Jantjes

 

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Sophia Ainslie 

 

dear Neil and EVERYONE at Goodman Gallery-

my deepest condolences on the passing of Linda.

 

i knew Linda all my life! 

she represented my father Bill Ainslie, and i had my first solo show with her a year or so after my father's unexpected death

in my very early '20's.


she was indeed a Renaissance human. she was incredibly determined, a visionary, fierce and focused.

her spirit is a monument on the south african landscape and beyond without needing a cast form of bronze or concrete.

her presence and all the opportunity she created for so many artists will never be forgotten.

my deepest condolences.

 

sophia

 

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Becky Mayer 

 

Hello Lisa, I was saddened to hear the news regarding Linda’s passing. She was a really special person, I feel privileged to have met her. 

Thank you for letting me know. 

Best wishes,

Becky Mayer

 

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Studio Trisorio 


 

SO SAD!

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Robin Glanville

 

 

I remember her well.

Her Goodman gallery in a forecourt near Hyde Park corner was my go-to art Mecca in the early 70's, we often glanced at one another, seemingly connected spirits of the art world, but I, too shy or intimidated, never had the pluck to approach her...advertising had me trapped...only years later did I realize the lost opportunity.

The sky is now your limit Linda.

Robin

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Paolo Colombo

 

So terribly terribly sad. 

She was a friend and a mentor.

Big big hug to our friends in common, Moshekwa, William 

and a big strong hug to you Liza.

Paolo

 

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Denise 

 

Wow, what an amazing person Linda was and how much she taught me over the last 40 years.

 

May she rest in peace.

 

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Christopher Peter

Dear Neil and Lize 

please may I convey my humble message of very great admiration for Linda, and for the great institution which is the Goodman Gallery and ALL who work therein .

I dont think I have ever experienced anything other than awesome professionalism , high sophistication and creativity,  on every level, as well as warmth of people associated .

Long may this continue and,  I wish you all strength for the future .

I was never closely associated with Linda , but greatly admired her and respected her .

I feel her contribution was unparalleled .

She brought such style and worldly presence to  the art world of  20 th century South Africa , promoting with heart and aplomb many deserving , extraordinary artists ...

And I loved her awesome style which ofcourse , was suitably intimidating , just as it should be, where excellence is addressed unwaveringly .

 

With sincere wishes to you all .

 

Christopher Peter , now retired from the Irma !

 

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Francine Greenblatt 

My deep condolences .

The passing of an Icon.

RIP dear Linda

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Jackie

Dear Neil,

I am so sorry to read this news.  I feel  sad for you, the many, many  artists who benefitted from Linda’s perception and subsequent support. Linda  made the appreciation and world  of 

South African art,  as well as international art,  available, in a different way  which encouraged artists and viewers to visit her gallery.

 

I remember Linda well from the early days, when I visited the Finger family home in  Westcliff.

I also remember how paintings hung close to each other, in what seemed to be on every wall.

I remember her late mother Hetty’s enthusiasm and love of art, and her regular lectures,

motivating us to learn more, expand our knowledge and enjoy the history and present day focuses.

 

Linda has indeed left an incredible legacy, which those who knew her will not forget.

 

My thoughts are with you Neil, and with Liza Essers, who I have not had the pleasure of meeting.

Be well, stay safe,  

Love to you,

Jackie

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Georgina Jaffee

Linda ...a pioneer in developing artists, creating huge appreciation for South Africa's immeasurable artistic talent...she created the first Gallery (Goodman Gallery) promoting black artists and was respected widely. She had such a personable character...whoever you were she engaged and transferred her deep appreciation for artists with her gentle and deeply intelligent way. My condolences to all her family and friends.

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Faarooq WK Gardee-Minty Mangera

A wonderful, wonderful being. An Uber ZAn and world class glocal.

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Jon Seymour

Only recently established here in London, but the sweep and commitment was evident as I peered through the glass before opening. Here was a spirit. And here is her spirit. We step into paths visionaries create to turn anew and see.

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Her death marks the end of an era in which Linda was a preeminent warrior.

One day we should have a dinner & reminisce about all her sometimes outrageous doings.

Who can forget Cuba 1997.

 

Thinking of you all

Wilma Cruise

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My sincere condolences.  Linda was an amazing

person who touched so many lives.

So sad for us and her family

Kind Regards

Jenny Stadler

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Sad news about the passing of Art doyenne,  Linda Givon .

What a art Legacy she created in building so many artists and collectors in and beyond South Africa’s borders .

She touched my life in many ways - 

We remember Linda with her style, her warmth and community spirit 

With love 

Kathy Ackerman Robins

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In tandem with thousands of people in South Africa, and worldwide, I felt enormously sad to hear that Linda Givon had passed away.

 

I only met her once in Sydney but was well aware of the contribution she made to the art of post-Apartheid South Africa. As is universally acknowledged, she continued to shine a light on the exceptional talent in the country long before artists on the African continent, and in South Africa itself, attracted wide international interest.

 

Having emigrated to Australia 44 years ago – and earlier than that having lived in London and briefly in Melbourne – art, visual culture generally and literature were and have remained a constant core focus for me and my family. Linda’s contribution will be remembered and lives on in the brilliant work you both do.

 

Condolences and warmest, 

 

Gene Sherman

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we are very sorry to hear and our thoughts go to you and Linda'a family as well as to everyone in the gallery.

She definitely found a wonderful successor to develop her legacy further.

 

warmest regards

 

Gregor & Linda Risi

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South African Friends of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

 Please extend our heartfelt condolences to the Givon family and extended Goodman Gallery family on the passing of art matriarch Linda Givon. 

A true pioneer for South African arts, her impact and legacy will leave a lasting impact. 

Our thoughts are with you. Wishing a long life to all. 

With best wishes, 

Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Nina Kovensky and Marco van Embden 

SAFIM National Co-chairpersons 

Della Berkowitz (JHB Chairperson) 

Dori Weil, Gigi Wolf, Julie Treger, Liora Meltzer and Louise Bloch 

SAFIM Johannesburg Team 

Sarin Goott 

Director – Development/Partnerships/Events 

sarin@safim.co.za