Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The Ukrainian Museum revisits the early work of East Village-based photographer Peter Hujar

Peter Hujar, Young Self Portrait (IV), 1958 
Courtesy The Ukrainian Museum/©The Peter Hujar Archive

The Ukrainian Museum on Sixth Street presents 75 photographs that feature some of the earliest work of iconic East Village-based photographer Peter Hujar (1934-1987). 

Here's more via the Museum: 
He was born to an immigrant family, and his Ukrainian grandmother raised him exclusively in the Ukrainian language until he was 5 years old. His difficult and unstable upbringing in a troubled household influenced his artistry and vision significantly as Hujar turned to a career in photography. 
The life and art of Peter Hujar were synonymous with a downtown New York that no longer exists. From the 1960s through the 1980s, the East Village was an urban buffet of creativity and danger, yet always vibrant and inexpensive. Private by nature, combative in manner, well-read, and widely connected, Hujar inhabited a world of the known and unknown.

This exhibition at the Ukrainian Museum will feature 75 of Hujar’s earliest photographs — from 1955 until 1969. Portraits, country landscapes, and city life will be the focus of the exhibition. Yet, three important vectors or series that appeared in his work during this period will also be highlighted in-depth for the first time: the Southbury (1957), the Florence (1958), and the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo (1963).
"Peter Hujar: Rialto" opens tomorrow (May 2) and will be displayed through Sept. 1. 

The Ukrainian Museum, located at 226 E. Sixth St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square, is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. (Several members-only events related to the exhibition are also available here.) 

Hujar died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1987. He was 53.

Hujar lived and worked above the Louis N. Jaffe Art Theater (today, the Village East by Angelika) on Second Avenue at 12th Street. Read more about the space where Jackie Curtis and David Wojnarowicz lived before and after Hujar right here.

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