Critic

Dave Hickey, prolific and provocative art critic, dies at 82

Famed art critic Dave Hickey, known for biting opinions and stirring commentary on the creative scene, has died.

The prolific writer, who was also a self-described “sissy,” “feminist,” “serial monogamist,” “big quitter” and “pirate,” published a number of essays throughout his illustrious career examining art and culture. Hickey died of heart disease Nov. 12 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Los Angeles Times confirmed with his widow, Libby Lumpkin. He was 82.

“Dave’s a cross between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Joe Cocker — profoundly American, profoundly democratic and profoundly independent-thinking,” said art writer David Pagel in 2014. “He’s almost a heretic in the church of art. He makes people mad because he wants them to think for themselves.”

Born Dec. 5, 1938, in Fort Worth, Texas, Hickey collected several prestigious honors for his musings, including a Peabody Award, a MacArthur Fellowship and the Frank Jewett Mather award for art criticism.

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Nestruck on Theatre: Why this theatre critic is happy to be done with star ratings on reviews

Krystin Pellerin’s performance setup for Tarragon Theatre’s online production Orestes.

Krystin Pellerin/Handout

It’s a momentous week for theatre criticism in this paper. On Friday, I’ll be watching a new digital production from Tarragon Theatre called Orestes – and then will file my first review since The Globe and Mail eliminated the star-rating system.

If you’ve read any of our film reviews in the last couple of weeks, you’ll have noticed an editor’s note at the bottom stating that the Arts section has moved to a “critic’s pick” designation for the crème de la cultural crème and abandoned star ratings for film and theatre reviews “in the interest of consistency.”

What does that mean? Well, as long as I’ve been at The Globe, different art forms have been reviewed in different ways. Dance and opera were reviewed without star ratings, for instance, while theatre and circus reviews included a rating out

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