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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.

Useful links:

The Shock of the New television series is … thankfully … available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure:

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

3 replies on “Influential Art Critic Robert Hughes, 74, Dies”

  1. This makes me miss the days when art critics made art-themed TV specials rather than starring as judges on bad reality TV. Let’s bring that back.

  2. Goodbye to the man who saw directly and clearly through the limited talent or total lack of talent of so many 80s Art Stars.

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