ROBERT HUGHES († 6-08-2012)

Robert Hughes signing at Nexus Institute 28 March 2009 Robert Hughes lectured at Nexus Institute on: 'A DEFENCE of WHAT IS PRICELESS'

Nexus Institute wrote: 'Robert Hughes, the most known, most readed and most obvious art critic of our time. With 17 books and his television series about modern art and architecture he gathered praise and fear with millions over the whole world. Hughes grew up in Australia, where he joined a group of progressive artists, writers and intellectuals. He stopped his study history of art to write a synopsis about the Australian art of painting. After that he lived and worked in Italy and London, before settleling the US in 1970 as ablaze art critic of Time Magazine.

In 1997 he was choosen by Australians as one of the 40 'Living National Treasures'. His style of writing and speaking is to be recognized immediately: lucid, plain, always telling, with as much intelligence as passion and with scorching witting things. If it is about pretentions of the modern artist, the beauty of Barcelona, the detestable mournful culture of the present, the strange life down under or the destiny of the lonely angler, Hughes looks, praises and sentences on monumental manner.'

Captivating, refreshing and humorous.

3 Expressions to mark the Saturday afternoon with Robert Hughes: between development, society and ideas. How to decide what is valuable and what is not. Make world of art accesible for us. Nexus and contradiction between price and value. Money has become the price of meaning. It has become the meaning. What is art? Is it defining itself? How do you know it is priceless?
Career highlights

Hughes left Australia for Europe in 1964, living for a time in Italy before settling in London, England (1965) where he wrote for The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Observer, among others, and contributed to the London version of Oz. In 1970 he obtained the position of art critic for TIME magazine and he moved to New York. He quickly established himself in the United States as an influential art critic. Hughes and Harold Hayes were recruited in 1978 to anchor the new ABC News (US) newsmagazine 20/20. His only broadcast, on June 6, 1978, proved so disastrous that, less than a week later, ABC News president Roone Arledge dumped Hughes and Hayes, replacing them with veteran TV host Hugh Downs.

In 1980, the BBC broadcast The Shock Of The New, Hughes's television series on the development of modern art since the Impressionists. It was accompanied by a book of the same name; its combination of insight, wit and accessibility are still widely praised. In 1987, The Fatal Shore, Hughes's study of the British penal colonies and early European settlement of Australia, became an international best-seller.

During the 1990s, Hughes was a prominent supporter of the Australian Republican Movement. Hughes provided commentary and highlights on the work of artist Robert Crumb throughout the 1994 film "Crumb", calling Crumb "the American Breughel". His 1997 television series American Visions reviewed the history of American art since the Revolution.

He was again dismissive of recent art; this time, sculptor Jeff Koons was subjected to scathing criticism. Australia: Beyond the Fatal Shore (2000) was a series musing on modern Australia and Hughes's relationship with it. During production, Hughes was involved in the near-fatal road accident detailed in the next section.

Robert Hughes and Rob Riemen. Nexus lecture 2009
Hughes's 2002 documentary on the painter Francisco Goya - Goya: Crazy Like a Genius—was broadcast on the first night of the BBC's domestic digital service. Hughes created a one hour update to The Shock of the New. Titled The New Shock of the New, the program aired first in 2004. Hughes published the first volume of his memoirs, Things I Didn’t Know, in 2006. In 2012 he died in New York.