Peter Hujar

Cruising Utopia

Pace Gallery
Jun 30th 2020 — Jul 28th 2020

Hailing from the same downtown New York art scene that birthed the likes of Nan Goldin and David Wojnarowicz, Peter Hujar left behind a vast and revelatory body of work. The photographer—who died of complications from AIDS in 1987—spent some two decades training his camera on friends, lovers (Goldin and Wojnarowicz among them), and all the rest who made up the city's burgeoning queer community in the post-Stonewall, pre-AIDS era. Like his peer Robert Mapplethorpe, Hujar photographed his subjects with unflinching intimacy and intensity—whether capturing them in the throes of orgasm or as they lay dying.

Hosted by Pace, this online exhibition brings together a career-spanning selection of Hujar's works. Many of these photographs—such as Orgasmic Man (1969) and Susan Sontag (1975)—have become iconic. Others—such as West Side Parking Lots (1976)—are less familiar. Touching on the "horizons" of Hujar's oeuvre—from studio portraits to street photographs to cityscapes—"Cruising Utopia" sheds new light on the artist's profound genius—and freshly accentuates the tragedy of his untimely death.

Peter Hujar, Fran Lebowitz [at Home in Morristown], 1974. Vintage gelatin silver print, 13 5/8 × 13 5/8 inches, image, 16 3/4 × 13 3/4 inches, paper, print made by the artist.