Born: Established: 28 Jul 1938 Sydney ; Died: 6 Aug 2012 New York (City)
Robert Hughes was educated at St. Ignatius College, Sydney, and studied arts and architecture at Sydney University, during which time he made a name for himself within the Sydney 'Push' - a progressive group of artists, writers, intellectuals and drinkers that included Clive James and Germaine Greer. After working in the field of art criticism with the Sydney Observer and the Nation, he went to Britain in the 1960s and as a freelance writer continued his journalistic career specialising in art criticism for newspapers such as the Spectator, the Telegraph, the Times and the Observer.
In 1970 he became art critic for Time Magazine and established himself as an internationally renowned and influential art critic. As a reviewer, Hughes has been the only art critic to twice win America's most coveted award for art criticism (in 1982 and 1985), the Frank Jewett Mather Award, given by the College Art Association of America. In 1988 Hughes was named recipient of the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award. In 1993, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
As an art critic he published extensively and his books have been translated into many languages. Some of his publications include The Art of Australia: a Critical Survey (1966), Heaven and Hell in Western Art (1968), Nothing If Not Critical: Selected Essays (1990), Barcelona (1991), Culture of Complaint (1993), American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America (1997) and Rome (2011). During his lifetime he made more than twenty television documentaries on the visual arts. The BBC eight-part television series on modern art, The Shock of the New, was critically acclaimed, as was the publication of a book based on the series.