new-york

Peter Hujar

Grey Art Gallery

In this recent retrospective of Peter Hujar’s photographs, curator Thomas Sokolowski included not only the well-known self-portraits and portraits—those of Ethyl Eichelberger, Susan Sontag, and David Wojnarowicz, for example—but also images of animals, which resonate with the same particularity and clarity as those of people. Sokolowski suggested the affinities between the two with intelligent sequencing, as in the pairing at the gallery entrance of a 1981 image of a Great Dane with a 1975 self-portrait. The dynamic operating in both photographs is the same; it is always dignified, never contrived, yet not quite candid. These black and white photographs are generally square in format; they are uncluttered, rarely dramatic, and almost classical in style. Often Hujar’s models (many of whom were friends) seemed to divert their eyes away from the camera, suggesting a feeling of poignant

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