Peter Hujar, Master Class
“Peter Hujar: Master Class”, an exhibition on view at Pace/ MacGill gallery in New York features a selection of Hujar’s black-and-white portraits acquired by Richard Avedon in the 1970s. The exhibition examines the photographer’s idiomatic approach to portraiture that treated each photograph as a stand-alone object, capable of evoking complex emotions and expressions.
The influence of Avedon’s acclaimed Master Class, a weekly seminar taught by Avedon and art director Marvin Israel at Avedon’s New York City studio and in which Hujar was enrolled in 1967, is also be examined through scholarly research. The Master Class included visiting speakers such as Diane Arbus and Lucas Samaras, and opened doors for a number of young photographers.
Avedon and Hujar remained friends following the workshop’s close and, over time, Avedon acquired the eight superb prints on view, each of which deftly captures Hujar’s avant-garde circle with penetrating sensitivity and psychological depth. The exhibition also includes Hujar’s four-part work made during the Master Class, “Nude Self-Portrait Series” #1, #2, #3, #4, 1967.