“Peter Hujar: Portraits in Life and Death” by The Peter Hujar Foundation at Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà, Venice

By Last Updated: May 9, 2024Views: 47

“Peter Hujar: Portraits in Life and Dying” is the primary exhibition in Europe of Peter Hujar’s legendary Portraits in Life and Dying. Comprising the entire set of 41 images reproduced within the 1976 guide, Portraits in Life and Dying—the one publication Hujar produced throughout his lifetime, for which his buddy, the critic Susan Sontag, penned the introduction—the exhibition can be curated by Grace Deveney, David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Affiliate Curator of Pictures and Media on the Artwork Institute of Chicago.

Hujar is famend for photographing his topics with penetrating sensitivity and psychological depth. Deeply embedded throughout the avant-garde milieu of artists, musicians, writers, and performers in downtown New York through the Nineteen Seventies and early ‘80s, Hujar’s unflinching portraits captured his topics with astonishing intimacy and vulnerability. Usually in comparison with contemporaries Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe, Hujar’s work is distinguished by its poetic sensibility and profoundly empathetic gaze.

Hujar remained a largely underground determine throughout his lifetime, however since his demise from AIDS-related issues in 1987 on the age of fifty-three, his advanced physique of labor has acquired widespread acclaim. In 2017, he was the main focus of a significant retrospective at The Morgan Library in New York, which travelled to Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, and the Jeu de Paume, Paris, in 2019.

“Peter Hujar: Portraits in Life and Dying” will comprise two distinct forms of pictures that are featured collectively within the 1976 monograph. The primary consists of portraits of well-known cultural figures on the New York scene, which Hujar photographed between 1974 and 1975 particularly for the guide. These embody the critic Susan Sontag, the dramaturg Robert Wilson, the author Fran Lebowitz, the filmmaker John Waters, and the artist Paul Thek, amongst others. These pictures are juxtaposed with an earlier physique of labor, consisting of images of the mummified our bodies discovered contained in the Catacombe dei Cappuccini in Palermo, Italy, which had been taken by Hujar throughout a visit there with Paul Thek in 1963.

In her introduction to Portraits in Life and Dying, Sontagwrites: “Pictures . . . converts the entire world right into a cemetery. Photographers, connoisseurs of magnificence, are additionally—wittingly or unwittingly—the recording-angels of demise . . . [In] this number of Peter Hujar’s work, fleshed and moist-eyed mates and acquaintances stand, sit, slouch, largely lie—and are made to seem to meditate on their very own mortality. Do meditate, whether or not they . . . acknowledge it or not. We not research the artwork of dying, . . . however all eyes, at relaxation, comprise that information. The physique is aware of. And the digital camera exhibits, inexorably. The Palermo images—which precede these portraits in time—full them, remark upon them. Peter Hujar is aware of that portraits in life are all the time, additionally, portraits in demise.”

by The Peter Hujar Foundation at Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà, Venice
till November 24, 2024


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