News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
NV89 Discover Music

an member station


Art Critic Dave Hickey On Facebook's "Wasted Words" And The Lack Of Good Art



Dave Hickey's books "25 Women" "Wasted Words" and "Dust Bunnies"

Art critic Dave Hickey left Las Vegas and UNLV five years ago.

But he will return Saturday to talk about his three new books, including "Wasted Words". It includes some of the 3,000 Facebook posts written from 2014-2015 -- and how none of them could spur serious conversation.

"You don't write your best on Facebook," Hickey said. "I don't even consider it writing ... I tried to generate some serious discussion. I couldn't. The book is a testament to my failure."

Hickey said the most he could ever get out of people who responded were a series of puns.

"Dust Bunnies" is a collection of his remarks during that Facebook period. 

Hickey is Nevada’s only MacArthur Foundation genius grant winner, which he received for art criticism in 2001.

And, though he turned 75 in December, Hickey shows no sign of slowing down – or holding back.

He also said he wrote the book "25 Women," after going over some of his essays about art and realizing that almost all of them were about female artists.

"Women are much more complicated than men," he said, and that complexity comes out in their art.

As for the state of the art world currently, "We're kind of in a dead space, but we've been there before," Hickey said.

Support comes from

He said the art world has been divided up between the auction houses and the universities. Hickey said he hasn't seen a lot of art that he wants to write about.

He is speaking at the Contemporary Arts Center in  Soho Lofts in downtown Las Vegas Saturday






Dave Hickey, art critic

Our journalism speaks for itself, and we answer only to you. That’s thanks to the 11,000 members of Nevada Public Radio. Each of them made a small commitment and became members of Nevada Public Radio. They didn’t have to — but because they did, you are here now. So we extend a hand and say, “Come join us!”

More Stories

KNPR's State of Nevada
Jun 07, 2006

World of Art

KNPR's State of Nevada
May 11, 2006

Art & Democracy

KNPR's State of Nevada
Sep 24, 2007