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Syd Solomon, artist fixture in Sarasota

Abstract artist Syd Solomon, whose paintings appear in the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 86.

Solomon died Wednesday in Sarasota, where he had been living in an assisted living facility.

He helped make Sarasota a nationally known artists' colony in the 1950s. He and his wife Annie moved there in 1946, though normally spending summers in the Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y.

"He was a legend in Sarasota and in the New York art world," said art historian and writer Mark Ormond. "He built a bridge between the two places."

Solomon's works also hang in the Hirshhorn Museum and Corcoran Gallery in Washington and in Israel's Tel Aviv Museum. He often drew inspiration for his work from the seascapes at his homes in Florida and the Hamptons.

A native of Uniontown, Pa., he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. In the Army during World War II, he earned the Bronze Star in the Battle of the Bulge.

His wife survives.