Skip to Content
Closed now, next open tomorrow. Closed now, next open tomorrow.

Queer Basher/Icarus Falling

A work made of spray paint and acrylic on board.

Image actions

  • A work made of spray paint and acrylic on board.




David Wojnarowicz
American, 1954-1992

About this artwork

David Wojnarowicz was identified by The New York Times critic, Michael Kimmelman, in 1992 as “one of the most influential artists of the 1980s.” Wojnarowicz first emerged in the context of the brash and brief burst of energy that took place in New York’s East Village in the beginning of the 1980s. Fusing the aesthetics of the punk-music scene, a keen awareness of an ethnically diverse street culture, and a committed sense of political activism, Wojnarowicz’s earliest works were often informal and ephemeral. The 1980s East Village scene in which Wojnarowicz thrived produced a number of artists who went on to broader recognition, including Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jenny Holzer, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His paintings, photographs, installations, performances, and experimental films are distinguished by raw expressions of rage and personal longing. Wojnarowicz’s work, most often concerned with the inequities and disenfranchisement of living with HIV and AIDS, ranged from the intentionally shrill to the elegiac. A gifted writer, the poignant beauty of his vision is perhaps best glimpsed through his published journal excerpts, short stories, and autobiographical essays. Indeed, the artist is now widely recognized for the strength of his artistic expression both in the visual arts and with the written word. The artist died of AIDS in 1992 at the age of thirty-eight.


On View, Gallery 293


Contemporary Art


David Wojnarowicz


Queer Basher/Icarus Falling


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Spray paint and acrylic on board


182 × 121 cm (72 × 48 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Stuart and Susan Handler

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions