August 6, 2012

Robert Hughes, Eloquent and Combative Art Critic, Dies at 74 (RANDY KENNEDY, 8/06/12, NY Times)

With a Hemingwayesque build and the distinctively rounded vowels of his native Australia, Mr. Hughes became as familiar a presence on television as he was in print, in columns over three decades for Time magazine, where he served as chief art critic and often as a traditionalist scourge during an era when art movements fractured into unrecognizability. "The Shock of the New," his eight-part documentary about the development of modernism from the Impressionists through Warhol, was seen by more than 25 million viewers when it ran originally on BBC, and the book that Mr. Hughes spun off from it was described as a "stunning critical performance" by Louis Menand of The New Yorker. [...]

In the memoir, Mr. Hughes was as expressive about his brush with death as he always was about the art he loved. "At one point I saw Death," he wrote. "He was sitting at a desk, like a banker. He made no gesture, but he opened his mouth and I looked right down his throat, which distended to become a tunnel: the bocca d'inferno of old Christian art."
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Posted by at August 6, 2012 7:06 PM

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