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March 29, 2017

The exhibition ‘Peter Hujar: Speed of Life’ is the most detailed narration to date of the work of the American photographer Peter Hujar, with over 150 of his photos from the fifties through to the eighties.

Peter Hujar started his career as a commercial photographer in the fifties. However, he soon chose to move well away from the commercial sector and switched his focus to artistic photography instead. Closely linked to counter-culture movements from the time, he captured fragments of New York life in the seventies and portrayed the underground socio-cultural scene by photographing renowned artists and writers such as Andy Warhol, Susan Sontag and William S. Burroughs, as well as anonymous downtown characters.

peter-hujarPeter Hujar’s work falls within the photographic tradition of portraiture: he was a portraitist in everything he did. Whatever the subject – a lover, an actor, a horse, the surface of the Hudson River, or the gentle features of his own face – what moved and motivated Hujar was the spark in the encounter and the exchange between the artist and his subject, establishing a direct relationship with whatever he portrayed thereby revealing its true nature.

The route followed by the exhibition reflects the preferences of the artist, who systematically chose to present his photographs in vibrant, surprising and sometimes disturbing ways. Most of the photographs are grouped into sets, some of which reflect the artist’s recurrent concerns, while others exemplify his interest in emphasizing diversity and the internal contradictions in his work.

A distinguishing feature of his art is the invisibility of technique in his photographs and yet simultaneously his preoccupation with and care over it. Hujar produced his own copies and was also considered a good printer.


Place: Sala Fundació MAPFRE (carrer Diputació, 250, Barcelona)

Time: Exhibition available until 30th April 2017. Mondays from 14:00 – 20:00h, Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 – 20:00, Sunday and holidays: 11:00 – 19:00h

Price: General admissions: 3€

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