Winner of the 1994 Frank Jewett
Mather Award for Distinction
in Art Criticism
64 pages, paperback, seven black-and-white illustrations
"Dave Hickey is my hero and the best-kept secret in art criticism, a great mind driven not by necessity but by desireerudite, generous, and free. If this book of shocking intelligence and moral hope is read widely and above all well, word for word, it will help the world."
Peter Schjeldahl, art critic, Village Voice
Now in its fourth printing, this tour-de-force is widely credited with resurrecting the concept of beauty as a topic of discussion among artists, critics, and historians. Among its essays, The Invisible Dragon includes a critique of our burgeoning institutional life; an examination of the role of gender in artworks; and a controversial comparison between Robert Mapplethorpe's notorious X Portfolio and Caravaggio's Doubting Thomas. Its radically independent author, Dave Hickey, was owner-director of A Clean Well-Lighted Place Gallery in Austin, Texas, and director of Reese Palley Gallery in New York. He has served as Executive Editor of Art in America, as a staff songwriter for country-music publishers Glaser Publications in Nashville, and as Arts Editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 1989, SMU Press published Prior Convictions, an acclaimed volume of his short fiction. Hickey is currently Associate Professor of Art Criticism and Theory at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.