"I have always tended to take art contextually. If I have any merits as a critic, they have to do with my ability as a storyteller — and above all I wanted to tell a story."
Robert Hughes in Salon, May 23, 1997
Robert Hughes in New York City - 1970's
In a 1997 piece on "60 Minutes," correspondent Steve Kroft said to RobertHughes that he was the most powerful art critic in the world. Hughes deftly avoided the moniker and described his job as being akin to being the most important beekeeper in the world and that his influence said more about Time magazine than it did about the importance of his writing. But Robert Hughes writing is important. For many of us it was the first real taste of the transcendence and power of great art. Since I discovered the art criticism of Robert Hughes in Time magazine when I was a teenager, I have eagerly awaited each of his new works. Robert's articles, books, and documentaries helped open the worlds of art and history to me. Robert wrote clearly about art, taking pains to avoid jargon and faddish arguments. Hughes expressed that he was drawn to artworks that explored the questions: "Why am I here? And what am I doing here?" This search for philosophical and metaphysical concepts underscored much of the great art that Hughes explored in his work and shared with us.
With great sadness I note that at the age of 74, Robert has died after suffering through a long illness. Robert Hughes will be greatly missed.
Robert Hughes on 60 Minutes in 1997
Robert Hughes in Italy - 1960's
The Mona Lisa Curse
Written and Presented by Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes Dies at 74: The New York Times