The art critic Dave Hickey will join Otis College of Art and Design in the spring. The 2001 MacArthur "genius" grant recipient will teach seminars in the master of fine arts program and curate two original exhibitions in 2004 and 2005.
Hickey, whose books include "The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty" and "Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy," has also been a gallery owner, a rock musician and a writer of fiction and cultural theory.
"It's not a great time to be a graduate student, but I'll try to ameliorate that," Hickey said the other day by phone from Las Vegas. "It's less accessible and fun than it used to be."
Fun, for Hickey, embraces Michel Foucault, the French poststructuralist, whose work Hickey intends to start with.
"It's one of my favorite things," he said. In general, he teaches theory "critically, which is to say I don't preach."
The MacArthur citation commended Hickey for his "entirely original perspectives on contemporary art in essays that engage academic and general audiences equally." It highlighted his "piercing insights" and "wisdom and unusual viewpoints."
Hickey will commute between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, as he is still a tenured professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and "I have to keep my benefits." He has been on the faculty there since 1992.
"I think I'm a good teacher because I'm not parental," Hickey told the Los Angeles Times Magazine last year. "I don't do daddy, I do Uncle Buck. I do, 'Hey, smoke this,' you know. I treat 'em like adults."
-- Louise Roug