Speed of Life
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, with their exquisite black-and-white tonalities, were extremely influential. Underappreciated 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 at the occasion of a retrospective at Fundación MAPFRE in Barcelona, this book presents Hujar’s famous portraiture as well as his lesser-known projects. Accompanied by texts by Joel Smith, Philip Gefter, Steve Turtell, and Martha Scott Burton, this survey provides a thorough history of Hujar’s life and artistic practice. [publisher’s note]