New York Magazine

This Killing Machine Called America

East Village artist and culture warrior gets an overdue—but very timely—retrospective.
David Wojnarowicz, Untitled, from “Sex Series (For Marion Scemama),” 1989.

“DAVID WOJNAROWICZ: HISTORY KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT” is open July 13 to September 30 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

ON JULY 13, the Whitney Museum will unveil “David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night.” It is an astonishingly relevant, urgently important retrospective. Miss it, and you miss transcendental levels of incredulity, indignation, vulnerability, lamentation, fighting back—ultimately, what it means to be human in a time of encroaching political darkness.

Today, David Wojnarowicz is known mostly as a martyr to the culture wars of the 1980s, another artist diagnosed with AIDS who fought along with so many to get the government to act, for a long time in vain, and who then, like so many others, died of the disease, a terrible tear in the fabric of art that was savagely

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