Report by SAM METZAP / Report for America
Dave Hickey, a prominent American art critic whose essay covers topics ranging from Siegfried & Roy to Norman Rockwell, has died.
His books, such as “The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty” (1993) and “Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy” (1997), have won an army of fans beyond the recognition of the art world.
His stylish prose, bold criticisms of taste institutions such as museums and universities, and the equal acceptance of works that are considered both high and low have had a lasting impact on the artists and critics of the generation. ..
“No one is like him. He belongs to the norms of non-fiction prose in the United States,” his biographer Daniel Oppenheimer published last June, “far from the respectable: Dave Hicky and his art “.
According to art historian Libby Lampkin, who married him, he died on November 12 after years of heart disease at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was 82 years old.
David Hicky was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1938 and grew up traveling to Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and California. After jumping over the graduate program, he dropped out and opened a contemporary art gallery in Austin, Texas. He moved to New York in 1971, where he also ran a gallery, edited the publication Art in America, and contributed to The Village Voice and Rolling Stone magazine. His work and interests immerse himself in the art community such as Andy Warhol, Dennis Hopper and David Bowie.
Hicky later moved to Las Vegas to teach at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. In an essay on how art should fit into a wider culture, published in Air Guitar, he was the most American of American cities due to his separation from the traditional social hierarchy. Defended Las Vegas.
America “is a very poor lens to see Las Vegas, but Las Vegas is a great lens to see America. What’s hidden elsewhere is here in Quartey’s visibility.” He writes.
Hicky disputed the idea that strip neon lights were somehow unreal and opposed the idea that entertainment in Las Vegas was culturally irrelevant. Enjoyed delicious smoke and gambling in the same place, while jabbing the buttons on the slot machine, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. ” Obituary..
In the works after “The Invisible Dragon”, Hicky’s support for “beauty” as the ultimate mediator of artistic value is the theory and meaning of 20th century conceptual art that preferred to break down the reasons why people find things. Caused a clash with his contemporaries focused on becoming beautiful.
“He chooses to overlook the view that beauty may simply be what the dominant economic and social elite is saying. In the process, his enemy is his own bad boy. He claims to replace the judgments of outsiders with the judgments of narrow-minded art experts, “the New York Times wrote in 1999. profile Hicky’s.
Lampkin said her husband did not intend to uphold traditionalism, as critics argue.
“Most of Dave’s work was misunderstood. The beauty he was talking about was supposed to be very old-fashioned, but from the beginning he was a supporter of a very conceptual artist. “She said.
His taste was certainly eclectic. He sang praise for artists and figures of popular culture, from Norman Rockwell to Robert Mapplethorpe to Ellsworth Kelly. His essay covered basketball player Julius Erving, reruns of the television series “Perry Mason,” and outlawing country music.
In 2001, the MacArthur Foundation awarded a “genius” grant for his series of work. He was inducted into the Nevada Hall of Fame in 2003 and won the Peabody Award in the 2006 documentary on Andy Warhol.
Hicky and Lampkin decamp in Santa Fe in 2010 and get a job at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. According to Lampkin, Hicky considered teaching in his most important work and heritage.
“He was a true intellectual, not a snob, and trusted the students to be able to think theoretically. When you put your trust in such students, they got it. Put in, they make good art, “Lampkin said.
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Dave Hickey, an art critic known for the book “Air Guitar,” dies | National News
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