Peter Hujar

Legends of the Gay Art Underground

Two new shows highlight the hedonist asceticism of 1950s Bohemians

Jess and Peter Hujar responded to the tsunami of mid-to-late-twentieth-century art by becoming deep-sea divers, discovering strange and wonderful visions far below American culture’s roiling surfaces.

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The Restless Medium

Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before By Michael Fried (Yale University Press, 409 pp., $55) I. Michael Fried,who shot to intellectual stardom in 1967 with an essay in Artforum called "Art and Objecthood," is an intimidating writer. He looks very closely. He has passionate feelings about what he sees. And he shapes his impressions into a theory that fits snugly with all the other theories he has ever had. Whatever his chosen subject--Diderot, Courbet, Manet, Kenneth Noland--he comes up with an interpretation that is as smoothly and tightly constructed as a stainless-steel box.

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