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The Spectacle of Skill by Robert Hughes

The Spectacle of Skill

  • Paperback $20.00

    Nov 29, 2016 | 688 Pages

  • Hardcover $40.00

    Nov 17, 2015 | 688 Pages

  • Ebook $15.99

    Nov 17, 2015 | 688 Pages

Product Details


“An eye-opener. [The Spectacle of Skill] contains some of the most nakedly emotional prose [Hughes] ever committed to paper.” —The New York Times

“Hughes wrote many kinds of things in a career that spanned four decades . . . but his primary goal was always the same: to entertain, especially while he was educating. The Spectacle of Skill will serve as a generous reminder to all those familiar with Hughes’s prose of just how dazzlingly he succeeded at that goal, and it will introduce newcomers to one of the great critical voices of the late 20th century.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“[The Spectacle of Skill] echo[es] with an erudite authority that would seem impossible to obtain in our day, and a bombast that would be unbearably rude. The combination, conveyed in a clear and entertaining prose, will feel nostalgic even to those who come to know [Hughes] only by this book.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Art writing is rarely readable and hardly ever done well. Few did it better than Robert Hughes.” —Chicago Tribune

“For anyone who wishes emphatically to know what is what in the here and now.” —The Wall Street Journal

Table Of Contents

The Shock of the New 
  The Mechanical Paradise 
  The Faces of Power 

The Fatal Shore
  The Harbor and the Exiles 
  A Horse Foaled by an Acorn 
  The Geographical Unconscious

Nothing if Not Critical

  The Decline of the City of Mahagonny 
  John Singer Sargent 
  James Whistler 
  Thomas Eakins 
  Jackson Pollock 
  Mark Rothko in Babylon 
  Andy Warhol 
  Julian Schnabel 
  Art and Money


  The Color of a Dog Running Away 
  “If Not, Not” 
  Going to the Fair 
  The Hermit in the Cave of Making 

American Visions

  The 1913 Armory Show 
  Frank Lloyd Wright 
  Edward Hopper
A Jerk on One End 


  Driving into Goya 
  The Caprichos 
  War with Napoleon 

Things I Didn’t Know

  A Bloody Expat 
  A Sydney Childhood 
  Among the Cadets of Christ 
  Uni and After 
  Wading in Florence

From the Unfinished Memoir

  Coming to Time 
  Graft—Things You Didn’t Know 
  My Friend Robert Rauschenberg 
  The Shock of the New 
  High Trash 
  Tuna Surprise 
  Long Island 
  Danton—I Hardly Knew You

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