Robert Hughes, R.I.P.

I’m feeling a bit like the Grim Reaper lately, y’all. But I needed post about this one. What may be the last generation of public intellectuals continues to drop like flies.Robert Hughes, the acerbic, witty and brilliant art critic and historian has died at the age of 74.

Hughes was an Australian emigree to the US and disdained the g’day mate/Crocodile Dundee stereotype of *his* countrymen so beloved by *our* countrymen. He was the author of a brilliant history of his native land, The Fatal Shore. It also became a teevee documentary series, as did several other of his tomes including Barcelona and The Shock Of The New. The latter series was Hughes’ ode to 20th Century modernism, and featured my favorite art historical quote from the Futurist Manifesto, “Oh, maternal ditch.” I refuse to provide any context because, as Tom Stoppard once wrote, “my art belongs to Dada.”

Here’s episode one of The Shock Of The New:


3 thoughts on “Robert Hughes, R.I.P.

  1. MichaelF says:

    Sorry to hear, but thanks for posting this — I can’t say I knew much if anything about Robert Hughes, but really like programs like this, at least based on the two minutes I allowed myself here at work. I’ll be catching the rest of it later this evening.

  2. adrastos says:

    Totally awesome series. Another reason to love the youtube.

  3. MichaelF says:

    And these days the youtube hooks up easily to my television thanks to an HDMI cable and wireless internet connection.
    Almost took the bait on a Roku, but with all the stuff out there — youtube, Hulu, PBS online video, etc. — plus a really decent collection of material from the parish and State libraries — I’ve got more than enough to watch.
    Now if I could only find time to read…

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