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Say hello to Rodney

Peter Wollen: How art becomes kitsch

17 February 2000
The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of the Kitsch Experience 
by Celeste Olalquiaga.
Bloomsbury, 321 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7475 4535 9
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... by the new American art world’s most beloved critic, the Las Vegas-based Liberace-loving Dave Hickey. Hickey began his rehabilitation of Rockwell in ‘Shining Hours/Forgiving Rhyme’ (Art Issues, 1995), a text that was unashamedly nostalgic in its appreciation of Rockwell, harking back to the writer’s own ...

Not Rocket Science

Alexander Nehamas

22 June 2000
On Beauty and Being Just 
by Elaine Scarry.
Princeton, 134 pp., $15.95, September 1999, 0 691 04875 4
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Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy 
by Dave Hickey.
Art Issues, 216 pp., £15.95, September 1998, 0 9637264 5 5
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... it into the longing for truth and equality ends in failure. At the other extreme from Scarry, Dave Hickey, one of the most original critics writing in America today, answers the question of why we love beauty very differently: we love it simply because of the pleasure it gives us. Hickey sees Scarry’s moralism as ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides

24 October 2019
Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... sightings, as if both were autographing the air with their presence. ‘Back in the 1980s,’ Dave Hickey recounted, ‘I stood at a party watching the ever watchable Sontag, who had taken command of the opposite corner of the salon. She was showing us her profile, standing with her arms folded, swathed in scarves, her black mane accented by that ...

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