Robert Myron Coates (April 6, 1897 – February 8, 1973) was an American writer and a long-term art critic for the New Yorker. He coined the term "abstract expressionism" in 1946 in reference to the works of Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.As a writer of fiction, he is considered a member of the Lost Generation, having spent part of his life abroad in Europe. His first three novels are highly experimental, drawing upon Dada, surrealism and expressionism for their effect. His last two novels are examples of crime fiction in which the narrator presents a psychopathological case study of the protagonist. Nowadays, Coates is best known for The Outlaw Years (1930), which deals with the history of the land pirates of the Natchez Trace.Anthony Boucher praised Coates as "one of the most persuasive recorders of the unaccountable and disturbing moment," singling out his fantasy stories for their "haunting tone of uncertainty and dislocation."Coates was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1897 and died at the age of 75 in New York City in 1973.