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“Twin Peaks”: Mira Schor on Robert Hughes and Hilton Kramer

 

L: Robert Hughes at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation bureau, Washington, DC, January 28, 1987. 
Photo: Frank Johnston/Washington Post/Getty Images.
R: Hilton Kramer, New York, 1997. Photo: Peter Aaron

 AICA-USA member Mira Schor’s February 2013 Artforum article “Twin Peaks”  provides an incisive compare-and-contrast between Robert Hughes (1938-2012) and Hilton Kramer (1928-2012), critics whose passing marked the end of an era in American letters.  Both wrote as popularizers, serving as critics for Time and The New York Times, respectively, before inventing their own vocalizing platforms (Kramer, as founder of The New Criterion; Hughes as the host of the 1980 BBC series The Shock of the New).  As two of the most widely read critics of the 1980s and 1990s, they came to seen as bookends for the “left” versus “right” approaches to interpretation that marred both the politics and art criticism of those decades.  Writing from the perspective of an artist who is also a critic, Schor’s thoughtful examination explores the qualities that made each writer’s voice both so characteristic of its own time.

Headquartered in New York, AICA-USA's membership comprises over 400 critics, curators, scholars, and art historians working throughout the United States.

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