I was sad to hear of writer, art critic, and scholar of culture Dave Hickey’s passing last month. We met in the early 2000s in Taos at Penny and Gregg Hawks’ home during one of Penny’s legendary parties. A few times over the years since then, Dave and I talked about art and the art scene. He understood the back-end of the art world and its ironies and vagaries. I was able to meaningfully discuss my body of work with him, and it was a pleasure knowing and talking with him.

Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Dennis Hopper, Ronald Davis, Dave Hickey 2015 - Rick Romancito photo

L-R: Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Dennis Hopper, Ronald Davis, and Dave Hickey at The Harwood Museum, 2009 – Photo by Rick Romancito for the Taos News

In 2015, Dave wrote this essay about my work (“Ronald Davis Is Not Doing What You’re Seeing”) for an exhibition catalog accompanying the “Untitled. Art Fair” at Miami Basel, commissioned by Nyehaus and The Hall Art Foundation. There was to be a separate exhibition in New York of the Hall Art Foundation’s recent acquisitions of nine of my large legacy paintings, but because of Hurricane Sandy, the exhibition was postponed and later cancelled. Nevertheless, Dave was very generous and allowed me to use the piece as I wished. It is one of the most astute and amusing essays in recent decades about my work.

Notably, Dave led a panel discussion on August 1, 2009 with artists Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Dennis Hopper and me at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos. The event was in conjunction with the “Hopper at the Harwood” exhibition, guest curated by artist and filmmaker Dennis Hopper. [Watch a video of the discussion, shot and edited by Rick Romancito for The Taos News Media Center, www.taosnews.com]

I compiled a few web pages about that event, with a link to Dave’s accompanying “Hopper at the Harwood” catalog essay. Dave also wrote wonderful short stories (Prior Convictions: Stories from the Sixties), and his well-known books Air Guitar, The Invisible Dragon, 25 Women, and others.

RIP, Dave, and thank you.