Peter Hujar was a leading figure of the downtown New York scene of the 1970s and ’80s. He is most well-known for his portraits of New York City’s artists, musicians, writers, and performers, which feature characters such as Susan Sontag, William S. Burroughs, David Wojnarowicz, and Andy Warhol, and was admired for his completely uncompromising attitude toward work and life.
Hujar was a consummate technician, and his portraits of people, animals, and landscapes, as well as his documentation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with its exquisite black-and-white tonalities, were extremely influential. Under-appreciated during his lifetime, Hujar is now a revered icon of the lost downtown art scene, and his photographs are held in permanent collections around the world.
Over 160 photographs are gathered in Peter Hujar: Speed of Life. Published alongside a major touring exhibition, this collection presents Hujar’s famous portraiture as well as his lesser-known projects. Accompanied by texts by Philip Gefter, Steve Turtell, and Joel Smith, this survey provides a thorough history of Hujar’s life and artistic practice.
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