Dave Hickey, the art critic and author known for his outspoken and irascible writing about culture, has died at 82, the Los Angeles Times reports. The cause of death was heart disease.

Hickey, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, was educated at Texas Christian University and the University of Texas. He worked as an art gallerist and critic for years before publishing what would become his best-known book, Air Guitar, in 1997. The essay collection covered subjects including Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and the television series Perry Mason.

Other books would follow, including The Invisible Dragon, Perfect Wave, and 25 Women, about which a critic for Kirkus wrote, “Some readers will find cause for disagreement, but these fun-to-read essays delight, intrigue, and, most of all, educate.”

Hickey’s admirers paid tribute to him on social media. On Twitter, art critic Jerry Saltz wrote, “A complex leviathan, Dave used to call me up—I knew I was up for a challenge, that I would do a lot of listening, often not understanding his elaborate locution [and] phrasing. A great wave has passed. RIP old friend, exquisite nomad [and] ripening beast.”

And writer Carl Wilson tweeted, “Dave Hickey was an absolute inspiration to me and so many critics and other writers I know, not just for his ideas but above all for the vitality of getting complicated thoughts across in readable prose. It’s horrible to learn he is not with us anymore.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.