Peter Hujar (born 1934) died of AIDS in 1987, leaving behind a complex and profound body of photographs. Hujar was a leading figure in the group of artists, musicians, writers, and performers at the forefront of the cultural scene in downtown New York in the 1970s and early 80s, and he was enormously admired for his completely uncompromising attitude towards work and life. He was a consummate technician, and his portraits of people, animals, and landscapes, with their exquisite black-and-white tonalities, were extremely influential. Highly emotional yet stripped of excess, Hujar’s photographs are always beautiful, although rarely in a conventional way. His extraordinary first book, Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Susan Sontag, was published in 1976, but his “difficult” personality and refusal to pander to the marketplace insured that it was one of the last publications during his lifetime.


Portraits in Life and Death, Peter Hujar (Da Capo Press, 1976)

Peter Hujar: A Retrospective, edited by Urs Stahel and Hripsimé Visser; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam / Fotomuseum Winterthur (Scalo, 1994) 

Peter Hujar: Animals and Nudes, Klaus Kertess (Twin Palms Publishers, 2002)

Peter Hujar: Night (Matthew Marks Gallery / Fraenkel Gallery, 2005)

Fire in the Belly, Cynthia Carr (Bloomsbury, 2012)

Changing Difference: Queer Politics and Shifting Identities, edited by Lorenzo Fusi: Peter Hujar, Mark Morrisroe, Jack Smith (Silvana Editoriale, 2012)

Peter Hujar: Love & Lust (Fraenkel Gallery, 2014)

Peter Hujar: Speed of Life, Morgan Library & Museum; Fundacion MAPFRE (Aperture, 2017)

Peter Hujar’s Day, Linda Rosenkrantz (Magic Hour Press, 2021)