© Peter Hujar
Press release -
Fundación MAPFRE is delighted to be presenting Peter Hujar: Speed of Life, a retrospective exhibition on the American photographer Peter Hujar. Offering the most detailed account of the artist’s work to date, from the 1950s to his death in New York in 1987, it will be on display between 27 January and 30 April 2017 at the Fundación MAPFRE’s Casa Garriga i Nogués exhibition space (Calle Diputació, 250) in Barcelona.
Hujar was a portraitist in everything he did. Regardless of the subject of the work – a lover, an underground theatre actor, a goose, the surface of the Hudson River, or the placid features of his own face - what moved and motivated him was the spark of encounter and exchange between Artist and Other. Hujar’s serene, meditative, square-format photographs confer gravity on the object of his attention, granting it an eternal moment’s pause within the rush of passing time.
Little recognised during his own lifetime, Hujar published only one book of photographs, Portraits in Life and Death, but his output is today recognised as distinctive. His portraits combine disclosure and secrecy, ferocity and peace. Hujar’s career involved both a quest for recognition in the world of fashion photography--the photographers he admired most were Irving Penn and Richard Avedon--and a more solitary, almost completely uncompensated body of work in which he depicted the creative and intellectual New York that he knew and admired.
The present exhibition and catalogue followsPeter Hujar’s method of presenting his work. Rather than show his photographs in isolation or in an linear or chronological arrangements, he preferred to present them in dynamic, surprising and sometimes disconcerting juxtapositions.