Brent Sikkema, a prestigious New York art dealer and gallery owner, was found dead Monday after an apparent stabbing at an apartment he owned in Rio de Janeiro, local police said Tuesday. He was 75 years old.
His death was confirmed by his gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., in a statement shared on social media.
“It is with great sadness that the gallery announces the passing of our beloved founder, Brent Sikkema,” gallery co-partners Meg Malloy and Michael Jenkins wrote on X, without providing any details about his death.
“The gallery grieves this tremendous loss and will continue on in his spirit,” the statement added.
Rio de Janeiro’s Capital’s Homicide Department confirmed that authorities are currently investigating Sikkema’s death.
“Forensics were carried out on the property where the victim’s body was found. Officers will listen to witnesses, are looking for more information and are carrying out other investigations to shed light on the case,” a police spokesperson told the Daily News on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the Rio de Janeiro-based newspaper O Globo, Sikkema was discovered with stab wounds to his body at his home in the affluent neighborhood of Jardim Botâncio. His body was found by Simone Nunes, Sikkema’s lawyer and friend.
Nunes, who had the keys to the apartment, told the newspaper she went to check on her friend after not hearing from him since Saturday. When she arrived at his apartment, she found Sikkema dead on a bed.
Born and raised in Morrison, Ill., Sikkema attended the San Francisco Art Institute before beginning his work as a gallerist in Rochester, N.Y. in 1971.
After moving to New York City in 1991, Sikkema opened a contemporary art gallery in Soho named Wooster Gardens. The gallery moved to Chelsea in 1999 and was later renamed to Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
Located on West 22nd Street, the well-regarded gallery exhibits works of art in a wide variety of media including painting, drawing, installation, photography, video, and sculpture. It represents art powerhouses such as Kara Walker, Vik Muniz, Louis Fratino, and Jeffrey Gibson.
Sikkema is survived by his husband and 12-year-old son.