1980 in art
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- January 1 – Gary Larson's single-panel comic The Far Side debuts in the San Francisco Chronicle.
- February 7 – Pink Floyd's The Wall Tour opens at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
- May 22–September 16 – Pablo Picasso Retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the largest and most complete Picasso exhibition ever held in the United States.
- December 8 – Annie Leibovitz photographs John Lennon with Yoko Ono in New York for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine five hours before his murder.
- Robert Hughes presents a series (with accompanying book), The Shock of the New, for BBC Television in the United Kingdom on "art and the century of change".
- Benedikt Taschen opens a comic book store in Cologne which will evolve into the art book publisher Taschen.
- Basil Blackshaw – Green Landscape
- Nabil Kanso
- Georgia O'Keeffe – Llama in the Desert
- Bryan Organ – Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton
- Howard Post – Moving Cattle
- George Segal – Gay Liberation (sculpture)
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January to June
- January 18 – Cecil Beaton, English photographer and stage and costume designer (b. 1904).
- January 20 – William Roberts, painter (b. 1904)
- February 4 – Stojan Aralica, famous Serbian Impressionist painter and academic (b. 1883)
- February 6 – Albert Kotin, Russian-born American Abstract Expressionist artist (b. 1907).
- February 17 – Graham Sutherland, English artist (b. 1903).
- February 22 – Oskar Kokoschka, Austrian artist, poet and playwright (b. 1886).
- March 5 – John Skeaping, English sculptor and equine painter (b. 1901).
- March 18 – Tamara de Lempicka, Polish Art Deco painter (b. 1898).
- April 21
- May 15 – Len Lye, New Zealand-born American kinetic sculptor and filmmaker (b. 1901).
- June 7 – Philip Guston, Canadian painter and printmaker (b. 1913).
- June 23 – Clyfford Still, American Abstract Expressionist painter (b. 1904).
July to December
- July – Robert Brackman, Ukrainian-born American artist and teacher (b. 1898).
- August 26 – Tex Avery, American animator, cartoonist, and director (b. 1908).
- September 14 – Maxwell Bates, Canadian architect and expressionist painter (b. 1906).
- November 22 – Norah McGuinness, Irish painter and illustrator (b. 1901).
- December 26 – Tony Smith, American sculptor, visual artist and theorist on art (b. 1912).
- December 30 – Patrick Hennessy, Irish painter (b. 1915).