Robert Hughes, 1938–2012


Read this book. Revised edition, 1991, no designer credited.

“Robert Hughes”: those were the first words I wrote in the first post for this blog, six years ago, referencing a piece Hughes had written about Rembrandt for the Guardian that week. Re-reading his polemic Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America earlier this year I was feeling guilty about not having read more of his books; in slight mitigation I did watch every appearance of his on British television following The Shock of the New, and still have his American Visions series imprisoned on VHS in a box somewhere, along with The Fatal Shore, The New Shock of the New, some one-off things he did about Barcelona and Goya, and Visions of Space, a series of three films about European architects: Albert Speer, Mies van der Rohe, and Antonio Gaudi. Thanks to YouTube many of these exceptional documentaries can be given a fresh viewing; follow the links. Hughes used to write for the Guardian regularly so it’s no surprise they’ve filled several pages with memorials:

Obituary by Michael McNay
“Robert Hughes was Australia’s Dante,” says his friend Peter Carey
Robert Hughes on art
Robert Hughes quotes: 20 of the best

NYT obituary by Randy Kennedy
“Robert Hughes: The art critic with a dash of the streetfighter”: Judith Flanders at the Telegraph
At Open Culture: Remembering Robert Hughes, the Art Critic Who Took No Prisoners

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