Daily Archives: August 7, 2012

Robert Hughes 1938-2012

Robert Hughes, who popularized art criticism with his remarkable series The Shock of the New and other television documentaries, has died. Author of many books– including a polemic on American politics, The Culture of Complaint, and a celebrated history of Australia, The Fatal Shore— he was an enthusiastic and exacting critic. His essays on Andy Warhol, for example, make the case that the fame of Warhol’s paintings– “feeble, repetitious kitsch”– was less a result of the artist’s technical skills than a function of capitalist culture’s attention-deficit disorder. In an age when the virtual society of the internet asks us to uncritically “like,” Hughes will be missed.