New York Dealer Brent Sikkema Found Dead at 75 in Brazil

Brent Sikkema, the founder of the New York gallery Sikkema Jenkins & Co., was found dead at 75 in a Rio de Janeiro apartment on Monday, according to a spread of reports in Brazilian publications.

Citing a report from the local Fire Department, São Paulo–based newspaper Estadão said that Sikkema had been discovered with stab wounds. An investigation is still being carried out. CNN Brasil reported that the wounds could have been inflicted by scissors, a box cutter, or a screwdriver.

The gallery confirmed Sikkema’s death in an email announcement on Tuesday. Reached by ARTnews, a representative for Sikkema Jenkins & Co. declined to comment on the reports in the Brazilian media that he had been found dead in Rio de Janeiro.

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Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is a well-regarded in New York and beyond. Its program includes Jeffrey Gibson, the artist representing the United States at the forthcoming Venice Biennale, and Kara Walker, who had her first New York solo show with the gallery in 1995 and has since had 11 more one-person exhibitions there.

Also on the roster are artists such as Anohni, Tony Feher, Louis Fratino, Sheila Hicks, Vik Muniz, Maria Nepomuceno, Jennifer Packer, and Luiz Zerbini. Well-regarded artists such as Deana Lawson, Amy Sillman, Mark Bradford, Arlene Shechet, and Shahzia Sikander also held shows at Sikkema’s gallery early in their careers.

Sikkema launched his gallery as Wooster Gardens in SoHo in 1991. Michael Jenkins, who had worked with the gallery since its founding, was brought on as director in 1996, then made a partner in 2003.

In 1999, Sikkema Jenkins & Co. moved to the heart of Chelsea, where it is currently close to mega-galleries such as Gagosian, David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, and Pace.

Prior to running Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Sikkema had opened a gallery in Boston in 1976. His first gallery job came in 1971, when he became director of exhibitions at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York.

This article will be updated as more information is made available.

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