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Art Critic, Writer Robert Hughes Dies at 74

Australian writer and art critic Robert Hughes, whose works include "The Fatal Shore" and "The Shock of the New," died on Monday in New York, his publishers said.

Hughes, 74, died after a long illness, publishers Alfred A. Knopf said in a statement.

"We are very sad to report that the renowned critic and art historian Robert Hughes died today in New York after a long illness," the publishing house said.

Hughes, known for his acerbic wit and criticism of modern art, moved to New York in the 1970s where he lived until his death.

He began his career as a cartoonist and later an art critic in Sydney before moving to Europe and later the United States where he landed a job as art critic for Time magazine.

He also worked in television, producing a 1980 BBC series on the development of modern art called "The Shock of the New" and a book that were noted for their insight and wit.

He also made TV documentaries on the painter Francisco Goya and a 1997 U.S. TV series called "American Visions" on the history of U.S. art since the American Revolution.

But he was perhaps most famous for his 1987 book "The Fatal Shore," a study of the early settlement of Australia and its roots as a British penal colony, which went on to become an international best-seller.

"The Fatal Shore" was rated in 2011 as among the top 100 non-fiction books written in English since 1923 by Time magazine, which called it "a staggering achievement."

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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