Robert Hughes, a highly influential art critic, died Monday (Aug. 6) at the age of 74, his wife Doris Downes Hughes announced Tuesday. He passed away in Calvary Hospital in the Bronx in New York.
Hughes was best known for “The Shock of the New,” a book and TV series about modern art, which came out about ten years after he became Time magazine’s art critic. The book included a scathing commentary on the current art world, saying it had “finally turned into a kind of entropic, institutionalized parody of its old self.”
Hughes was born in 1938 in Sydney, Australia and attended the University of Sydney, where he studied art and architecture. He was hired by Time in 1970 and moved to New York City. “The Shock of the New” was published in 1980 and the documentary television series debuted in the U.S. in 1981.
Hughes is survived by his wife and two stepchildren. He is preceded in death by his son Danton from his first marriage.