“The best art being made today is by people who are bucking the system David Wojnarowicz is one of them,” began Lucy Lippard in “Out of the Safety Zone.” Her article was published in the December 1990, and is to this day one of the most details formal discussion of the artist’s work. With the work of Wojnarowicz under new scrutiny, check out what contemporary critics found of enduring merit, two decades ago. Lippard continues…
EARTH, 1987, ACRYLIC AND MIXED MEDIUMS ON WOOD, 72 BY 96 INCHES. PRIVATE COLLECTION.
As a highly visible AIDS activist he was briefly notorious in 1989 for having been scapegoat by the NEA in the Artists Space skirmish (as a writer in the catalogue, he had the nerve to name names in a text entitled “Post Cards from America: X-Rays from Hell”). In June1990 he brought suit against Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. More important, as an artist he has cut through the sentiment and guilt surrounding the AIDS crisis and made art directly about homosexuality. In his determination to make the private public, he has also gone beyond specific thematic material to forge a unique combination of politics and spirituality, of the known and unknown.