Australian-born New York art critic Robert Hughes passed away today at the Calvary Hospital in the Bronx after a long battle with illness. A well-known newspaper and magazine critic, he is best remembered for The Shock of the New, a very influential book and eight-part BBC television series that tells the story of modern art in very accessible language.
Hughes reached the apex of his critical influence in the 1980s and by the 2000s he was becoming known as a curmudgeonly critic who increasingly disparaged much of the contemporary art being produced and celebrated in art fairs and on the international circuit.
- “Australian Art Critic Robert Hughes Dies Aged 74” (BBC)
- Listen to the Robert Hughes interview with Don Swaim, January 27, 1987
- “Art Critic, Writer Robert Hughes Dies at 74” (Reuters)
- “‘He Will Be Greatly Missed’: Art Critic Robert Hughes Dies in New York,Aged 74” (Sydney Morning Herald)
- “Robert Hughes, Eloquent and Combative Art Critic, Dies at 74” (Artsbeat, NYTimes)
- “Robert Hughes Made High Art Accessible” (The Australian)
- “The Lives of Robert Hughes” by Robert S. Boynton (The New Yorker, May 12, 1997)
The Shock of the New television series is … thankfully … available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure: