Peter Hujar at Fraenkel Gallery

Image above: © Hujar, Paul Thek, Nude, Astride Zebra, 1965 / courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

Over the course of 30 years, Peter Hujar (1934–1987) embraced an ambitious range of subject matter—from studio work to street photography to landscapes. To reflect the broad scope of the artist’s work, Fraenkel Gallery announces Peter Hujar: 21 Pictures, to be presented January 7 – March 5, 2016.

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Image above: © Hujar, Draped Male Nude (III), 1979 / courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

Hujar is perhaps best known for his intimate portrayals of artists who were among his circle of friends and admirers. Among the works in the exhibition are insightful portraits of Paul Thek (1965), Susan Sontag (1975), John Waters (1975), Diana Vreeland (1975), Divine (1976), and Ethyl Eichelberger (1983), as well as a self-portrait from 1974.

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Image above: © Hujar, Divine at the Metropolitan Museum, 1976 / courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

Looking beyond Hujar’s most celebrated works, 21 Pictures will also feature a number of less familiar photographs, such as gritty scenes of city life in the 1970s and 1980s, dramatic seascapes, poignant still lifes, and penetrating “portraits” of animals, in which he conveys the vulnerability and individuality of his subjects.

PH.0351.tifImage above: © Hujar, Self-Portrait Jumping (I), 1974 / courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

Hujar’s work is also notable for its candid exploration of sexuality, death, and life. The exhibition will include openly erotic portraits, as well as a haunting photograph of the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily. Throughout his varied work, Hujar’s unmistakable voice comes through, evincing a personal and unidealized approach to the medium.


Image above: © Hujar, Parked Car, Brooklyn, 1976 / courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

The work of Peter Hujar was recently featured in major exhibitions at Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, and Punta della Dogana/François Pinault Foundation in Venice, Italy, as well as being the subject of retrospectives at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; MoMA PS1, New York; the ICA, London; the Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland; and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany.

PH.0232.tifImage above: © Hujar, Bouche Walker, 1981 / courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

21 Pictures will be Fraenkel Gallery’s fourth solo exhibition of Hujar’s work, and it follows two years after the gallery’s publication Peter Hujar: Love & Lust.

five solo shows at Soho Photo

Interview with Mona Kuhn