Robert Hughes, native of Australia and extraordinary art critic of the world, died in New York, on Monday, August 6th http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/arts/robert-hughes-art-critic-whose-writing-was-elegant-and-contentious-dies-at-74.html?_r=1 .
In 1981, his BBC/Time Life series, The Shock of the New, was broadcast in America on PBS. It was, for me, an eye-opening series that was, and continues to be, the ultimate primer on modern art. Lucky for us readers, the book, The Shock of the New, based on the series, was published the same year and is still in print. Hughes’s writing enlivens the world of art by reaching into dance, engineering, literature, history, ethics and just about every other facet of human life.
Hughes’ body of work includes: Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History; Barcelona The Great Enchantress; Rome; American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America; Lucian Freud Paintings; Nothing if Not Critical: Selected Essays on Art and Artists; The Frank Auerbach; Fatal Shore; Goya; Things I Didn’t Know; Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America.