Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Robert Hughes, 1938 - 2012

Robert Hughes, photographed in 1972, by Trevor Dallen
Robert Hughes died on 6 August 2012.
While I did not always agree with his aesthetic judgements, the art critic Robert Hughes was always a good read. He was a strongly opinionated writer (his excellent collection of articles is called Nothing if Not Critical) who could turn a good phrase - I particularly relished his comment to the effect that 'while Julian Schnabel couldn't draw, David Salle couldn't even trace'.
Damien Hirst, The Virgin Mother, 2005
 He was withering in reference to Damien Hirst's Virgin Mother (left):
Isn’t it a miracle what so much money and so little ability can produce?... When I look at a thing like this, I realise, so much art… has just become a kind of cruddy game for the self-aggrandisement for the rich and ignorant.
His television films and books, in particular The Shock of the New, will be a lasting memorial. 
Read obituaries in The Guardian, The Telegraph,  and a compliation of quotes in The Guardian. Watch The Shock of the New (also here) and American Visions.

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is given to the less talented as a consolation prize. - Robert Hughes.

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