Art and Architecture, Philosophy, Press Releases

Press Release: Hickey, The Invisible Dragon

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In 1993, Dave Hickey published a sharply opinionated book on art called The Invisible Dragon. It was a small volume, but the response was outsized—and, in many cases, outraged. While artists flocked to it, drawn by its forceful call for attention to beauty, huge numbers of more theoretically oriented professional critics absolutely savaged it, calling Hickey everything from naïve to reactionary.
Sixteen years later, Hickey’s back—and time hasn’t dulled his edge. With this new edition of The Invisible Dragon, Hickey has both revised and dramatically expanded his controversial book, addressing his critics and supporters both, while simultaneously placing the book—and the reactions it provoked—firmly in the context of larger cultural battles of the time. Bringing the works of Warhol, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Mapplethorpe to bear on the current situation of contemporary art, museum culture, and art criticism, Hickey argues powerfully for a renewed attention to the inherently democratic—and thus essential—concept of beauty. Writing with a liveliness and excitement rarely seen in serious criticism, Hickey invests The Invisible Dragon with the passion and drama that lie at the heart of great art.
Read the press release.