Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowicz are the featured artists in an exhibition presented by the LOEWE FOUNDATION at the brand’s Gran Vía store in Madrid. It is with the photographs that Hujar and Wojnarowicz took of the New York counterculture of the 1970s and 1980s, that LOEWE has participated for the eighth year running in the PHotoEspaña festival.
Hujar and Wojnarowicz appear in this sample as two independent creators whose work is, nonetheless, linked through a tragic friendship that started as a purely artistic creative exchange and evolved into an intense, albeit brief, romantic affair whose deep bond lived on even after Hujar’s death in 1987; from then onwards, Wojnarowicz threw himself into a life of public activism to help raise AIDS awareness by showing the challenges faced by the victims of this disease.
LOEWE pays tribute to this cause with t-shirts –featuring images by the artist– that have been created with the support of VISUAL AIDS and the P.P.O.W Gallery, which represents Wojnarowicz’s legacy. Proceeds will be donated to VISUAL AIDS, an art-focused foundation established in 1988 with the purpose of preserving and promoting the work of HIV-positive artists, fostering social awareness about this disease, creating dialogue through visual art exhibitions and publications, and supporting living artists affected by HIV and AIDS. The t-shirts, which have been produced in a limited run, are available on loewe.com, at Visual AIDS online and at Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, as well as at Printed Matter, the P.P.O.W Gallery in New York, and select LOEWE stores.
The images that make up the PHotoEspaña exhibition are a chronicle of what the East Village of those decades was like, which allows us to appreciate the extent to which these two artists became involved in the radical cultural revolution taking place at that time. In addition to the proximity and relevance that shine a light to social injustices that still affect us today, the images reveal how Hujar and Wojnarowicz were at the helm of the fight for the freedom of sexual identity. The exhibition also includes portraits of contemporary artists and creators taken by Hujar that, together with the subjects of the portraits themselves, symbolised a clear willingness on his part to challenge established norms. This sample shows the southern tip of Manhattan as it was back then: a place where significant social and political transformations were taking place thanks to the leadership of a group of artists who inspire us to this day.
Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowicz, PHotoEspaña 2018. LOEWE Gallery, Gran Vía 8, Madrid. From 4th June to 26th August [Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.]
Photo Captions: Abandoned Car With Globe, 1988-89 © David Wojnarowicz. Courtesy of the Marion Scemama Collection. Merce Cunningham and John Cage Seated, 1986 © Peter Hujar Archive. Courtesy of the Peter Hujar Archive.