I'm in no way an expert on Robert Hughes however I do like a man who knows his own mind when it comes to art and is uncompromising in stating his views - and he was certainly that. I loved all his art programmes on TV - it was art for those who don't want it "dumbed down"!
He wrote extremely well and is undoubtedly one of those people who made art more accessible to many people - notably through his book The Shock of the New which must rank as one of the most seminal books on the art of the twentieth century that has ever been written. (His TV series of the same name is available as a DVD set).
Here he is speaking about the work of Anselm Kiefer
At the same time he was apt to criticise those he considered to be corrupting or devaluing art.
Slamming the dead shark and diamond skull as 'absurd', outspoken Australian Robert Hughes says such commercial pieces have made art meaningless - apart from its price tag
In 1987 he published The Fatal Shore, his best selling account British penal colonies and the early European settlement of Australia.
For those, like me, who valued Robert Hughes I am providing below something you won't find in any of the other obituaries - and that's a compendium of links to:
- The unflinching eye (2003): Goya, a man of the people, found success as a portraitist to the Spanish aristocracy. But, writes Robert Hughes, it was his depictions of war and his pessimistic Black Paintings, reflecting the turbulence of 19th-century Europe and his own experience of madness, that changed art for ever
- Force of Nature (2005) - The wandering exile is a common Romantic figure. But why was it so inspiring to 19th-century German artists? Robert Hughes on how a nation rediscovered itself
- View from the street (2007) - Roofs at night, tattoo-and-shave parlours and exuberant shopgirls - reportage of the everyday dominated early 20th-century American art. The urgency of city life was captured in an explosion of prints, writes Robert Hughes
- Top critic lashes out at Hirst's 'tacky' art (2008) - This is his Guardian article just prior to the infamous Hirst auction in the middle of the banking meltdown in 2008.
- This is a YouTube video excerpt of a TV programme and his meeting with Albert Mugrabi - Robert Hughes: The Business of Art. Damien Hirst is all hype
- From the Observer archive, 30 April 1967: In celebration of Britain's answer to Mark Rothko
Time Magazine (some articles only accessible to those with a Time subscription)
- American Visions (1997) about the history of American Art
- Sold! The Art Market: Goes Crazy (1989)
- Master of the Yosemite (1979) about Ansel Adams
Robert Hughes on Australia
Art and book critics on Robert Hughes
- I loved this paragraph in the Guardian's Robert Hughes Obituary
I described him in the Guardian once as writing the English of Shakespeare, Milton, Macaulay and Dame Edna Everage, and Hughes enjoyed the description. His prose was lithe, muscular and fast as a bunch of fives. He was incapable of writing the jargon of the art world, and consequently was treated by its mandarins with fear and loathing. Much he cared.
- The New York Times Obituary - Robert Hughes, Eloquent and Combative Art Critic, Dies at 74
- Time Magazine - Renowned Art Critic Robert Hughes Dead in NY at 74
- The Telegraph - Australian art critic and writer Robert Hughes dies in New York
- The Independent - Renowned art critic Robert Hughes, 74, dies
- LA Times Culture Monster - Art critic Robert Hughes dies at 74
- Sydney Morning Herald - Robert Hughes dies in New York
- The Australian - Art critic Robert Hughes dies in New York at 74
- The Week UK - Tributes for Robert Hughes, the 'world's most famous art critic'
- The Huffington Post - A Few Words About Robert Hughes (1938-2012)