Currently, the Modern Institute Osborne Street in Glasgow is exhibiting If you don’t like this book you don’t like me, a collection of notebooks by Paul Thek that provide contextual information about the artist’s life and works. Included in this exhibition are also photographic collaborations with Peter Hujar that demonstrate the importance of their relationship throughout both artists’ careers.
Here in New York at the end of 2011, the exhibition Influential Friends of Peter Hujar, presented at John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, explored this same friendship as well as that between Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowicz. Archival materials from Influental Friends help reveal both the significant role these artists played in shaping the cultural downtown scene in New York during the 1970s and 80s, as well as the depth of emotional connections between them. Included in this show were a series of postcards sent by Wojnarowicz to Hujar from all over the world towards the end of Hujar’s life. As the late John McWhinnie writes in some of the text accompanying this brilliant exhibition, “[Wojnarowicz’s postcards to Hujar] detail both the mundane and extraordinary of his travel experiences, but also provide a glimpse into the closeness of their bond.” The last of Wojnarowicz’s postcards was written just months before Hujar’s death in November of 1987.
Here are a few selections from this collection of touching notes, some with personal illustrations by Wojnarowciz. Highlights include, “P.S. I GOT POISON IVY + FOUND A MUMMIFIED SHARK,” and Wojnarowicz’s watercolor of a floating nose on the back of the reproduction of Man Ray’s At the Hour of the Observatory.