LIL PICARD, 94, ARTIST AND CRITIC
WHO WAS ONCE A HAT DESIGNER
By Roberta Smith in: THE NEW YORK TIMES on May 14, 1994
Lil Picard, an artist and critic whose activities included painting, collage, film and performance as well as a stint as a designer of women's hats, died on Tuesday at her home. She was 94 years old and lived in Manhattan.
She died of natural causes, said Jon Hendricks, a friend.
Ms. Picard was born Lilli Elizabeth Benedict in Landau, Germany, in 1899. After graduating from high school in Strasbourg, now in France, she studied art and literature in Berlin. She remained in Berlin, where she worked as a journalist and was friendly with members of the Berlin Dada group, including Richard Huelsenbeck, George Grosz, Emmy Hennings and Hugo Ball. In 1937 she moved to New York City and worked for a while as a hat designer, opening a millinery boutique at Bloomingdale's in 1942.
Ms. Picard began painting in 1939 and by the late 1940's was exhibiting paintings and collages in the 10th Street galleries. By 1960 she was making reliefs and tablets that often had an autobiographical, feminist focus. In the 1960's and 70's she became known for interactive performances and environments, which often occurred under the auspices of the New York Avant-Garde Festival. Her 1967 performance, "Construction-Destruction-Construction," at the Judson Church Gallery, was filmed by Andy Warhol One-Person Shows.
Ms. Picard's first one-person show was at the David Anderson Gallery in 1960. In 1976 she had simultaneous exhibitions at Goethe House, the Ronald Feldman Gallery and the Holly Solomon Gallery in New York, and, in 1978, a retrospective at the Neue Berliner Kunstverein in Berlin.
Beginning in the early 1970's, Ms. Picard wrote on art for Interview and the East Village Other and was New York art correspondent for Kunstform International and Die Welt.
Ms. Picard's first marriage, to Fritz Picard,an antiquarian bookseller, ended in divorce in the late 1920's. In 1935 she married Hans Odell, a banker, who died in the late 1970's.
No immediate family members survive.