Close up of Nevada Writers Hall of Fame medal

Dave Hickey

2003 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Inductee


Recipient of a 2001 MacArthur Fellows Program "Genius Award," is recognized internationally as a critic of art and culture. He was born on December 5, 1940, in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Texas and California, graduating from high school when he was 15. He obtained a BA from Texas Christian University in 1961 and an MA in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1963. In 1967, he and his first wife, Mary Jane Taylor, opened the A Clean Well-Lighted Place Gallery in Austin, Texas. They moved to New York City in 1971, where he became director for the Reese Palley Gallery, Executive Editor for Art in America, and a freelance writer. He lived in Nashville, Tennessee, during the late 1970s, where he was a staff songwriter for Glaser Publications, a musician, and a country music and rock journalist.

His nonfiction career includes being art critic for Rolling Stone and The Texas Observer, and Contributing Editor for Art Issues (Los Angeles), Context, Parkett, and The Village Voice. His column, "Simple Hearts," was published in Art Issues. Judges for San Antonio's 2006 Contemporary Art Month festival created and bestowed The Hickey Award for Bravery and the Double Hickey Award for Excellence.

Hickey has staged exhibits across the USA, winning the Association of International Critics of Art's Kunsthalle Best Show 2001-2002 Award for "Beau Monde," the fourth "Site Santa Fe" biennial exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has lectured at many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. He has been a visiting professor at several universities, including the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, the Otis Parsons Institute in Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin. Hickey received the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather award for distinction in art or architectural criticism in 1993. He was the 1997 Cullinan Visiting Chair of Architecture at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He has been a faculty member of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 1992, where he has taught art theory, art criticism, and creative writing, and is the Schaeffer Professor of Modern Letters.