Photographs: Peter Hujar
Text: Bob Nickas
Publisher: Metthew Marks Gallery, New York et Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Comments: Hardcover with illustrated dust jacket, 275 mm × 280 mm, photographs in b & w. Fine condition
In the tradition of Brassaï's Paris at Night, Peter Hujar's Night brings together 43 hauntingly beautiful images of New York City. These pictures--most published here for the first time--illuminate a New York that has all but disappeared, one populated by the late-night demimonde, crumbling cobblestone streets, and landfills before the coming of Battery Park. Photographing costumed Halloween partygoers, dilapidated domestic interiors, cruisy city parks and trash-strewn parking lots, Hujar has left behind his own unique record of New York streets and their denizens, one as indelible as that of Weegee or Berenice Abbott. In a time before AIDS and a downtown before gentrification, Hujar's sometimes playful, often bleak photographs have an underlying sadness that is bound in the palpable mortality of his subjects, from revelers to decaying urban landscapes, all wrapped in a velvety blackness broken only by street lamps, fluorescent office windows and his camera's flash.