Far from affording artists continuous inspiration, mass-media sources for art have become a dead end. They have combined with the abstractness of institutional art teaching to produce a fine-arts culture given over to information and not experience. This faithfully echoes the drain of concreteness from modern existence— the reign of mere unassimilated data instead of events that gain meaning by being absorbed into the fabric of imaginative life.
"Introduction: The Decline of the City of Mahagonny"
Its clones have hung on so many suburban walls over the decades that it has become the Mona Lisa of the vegetable world.Robert Hughes
The hallmark of the minor artist is to be obsessed with style as an end in itself.Robert Hughes
The protein of our cultural imagination.Robert Hughes
There's no geist like the Zeitgeist.Robert Hughes
In America, nostalgia for things is apt to set in before they go.Robert Hughes
The desire to be primitive was very much a function of fin-de-siècle imperialism; it appealed to strong egos and domineering minds.Robert Hughes
What strip-mining is to nature, the art market has become to culture.Robert Hughes
Perhaps the rhinos and she-crocodiles whose gyrations between Mortimer's and East Hampton gives us our vision of social eminence today are content to entrust their faces to Andy Warhol's mingily cosmetic Polaroidising, but one would bet they would rather go to Sargent.Robert Hughes
The sense of not having the whole story that comes from living close up to traumatic events.Robert Hughes
New Song rapidly accumulated a nucleus of talent, and its best-known group was Els Setze Jutges, The Sixteen Judges, whose odd-sounding name came from a phrase used as a password by Catalan patriot troops during the rising against and occupation army in 1640 during the Reapers' War: "Setze jutges d'un jutjat menjen fetge d'un penjat" ("Sixteen judges on a tribunal eat the liver of a hanged man"). No lisping Castilian, it was believed, could pronounce this barrage of fricatives.Robert Hughes
Everything that would be said against the Eixample's heirs, from Le Corbusier's 'ville radieuse' to Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia, was already said, with far less justice, about the Eixample itself. And all its critics concurred that the basic mistake was to have left the planning of a city in the hands of a socialist.Robert Hughes
The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.Robert Hughes