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Dave Hickey, Iconoclastic Art Critic, Dies at 82

Dave Hickey, Iconoclastic Art Critic, Dies at 82

Mr. Hickey took quickly to teaching, and to his new hometown. The city seemed to embody everything he dreamed of for a democratic culture — art galleries nestled beside giant casino-hotels, opera singers trading stages with lion tamers, and all of it filtered through the hustle and bustle of commerce.

“Las Vegas is a risk-oriented culture,” he told The New York Times in 2002. “If you’re not taking any chances, you’re not having any fun.”

He married Dr. Lumpkin in 1993. She taught alongside her husband at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for several years, and in 2010 they moved to the University of New Mexico and settled in Santa Fe.

Along with his wife, he is survived by his brother, Michael Hickey.

Facing health problems, Mr. Hickey retired from teaching in 2012. But he kept writing, including on Facebook. Two edited collections of his posts, “Wasted Words” and “Dust Bunnies,” appeared in 2016. Another book, “25 Women: Essays on Their Art,” also published in 2016, raised the eyebrows of those who still viewed him as an unreconstructed male chauvinist.

And he continued to poke back at all the forces and institutions that he insisted had ruined the art world he had known as a younger man. He held identity politics in particular disdain, he told The Los Angeles Times in 2014, for dividing otherwise like-minded people into antagonistic categories.

“Identity politics tribalized the art underground and broke up the dissonant tone of it — a tribe of women, a tribe of Black people, a tribe of gay people,” he said. “It used to be all of us, together, just down in the dirt.”

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