Houston artist Virgil Grotfeldt died today after a long battle with cancer. Grotfeldt was one of Houston’s leading artists, and his final body of work is a much-admired capstone to a long and successful career. His last paintings are currently on view (through February 27) at HBU’s UAC Gallery, in a show titled 274296, which was Grotfeldt’s patient number at M.D. Anderson hospital, assigned to him during his first bout of cancer in 1993. Jim Edwards’ essay in the elegant little catalog for the show quotes the late Menil curator Walter Hopps, who said of Grotfeldt, "Not since the early Pollock or the late Arshile Gorky have I seen the dimensionally modeled forms as in the biomorphic abstraction of Virgil Grotfeldt. Nature and abstract form define Grotfeldt’s art as well as sustain its value as a personal meditation upon essential life forces." His work is included in the collections of the MFAH, the Whitney and the Menil Collection, among others. A recipient of the visual art award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Grotfeldt exhibited nationally and internationally beginning in the late 1970s. We’ll post details of a memorial service as soon as they’re announced.