Paul Thek

American, 1933 - 1988

Paul Thek was an American artist known for his eclectic paintings, sculptures, video, and performance work. Throughout his practice, Thek combined elements of art history, existential anxiety, and contemporary culture into art that posed both formal and conceptual questions. “I sometimes think that there is nothing but time,” the artist once said, “that what you see and what you feel is what time looks like at that moment." Born on November 2, 1933 in Brooklyn, NY, he studied at the Art Students League, Pratt Institute, and Cooper Union School of the Arts in New York. He began collaborating with conceptual artists in the early 1960s, including Eva Hesse and Peter Hujar, and gained critical attention in the American art scene before moving to Europe in 1962. Living in Italy for much of the 1970s, Thek began producing his most iconic works: The Technological Reliquaries, wax sculptures of body parts displayed in Plexiglas vitrines. By his 1976 return to New York, Thek had lost the critical support he had once enjoyed, and would go on to live in relative anonymity and poverty until his death from an AIDS-related illness on August 10, 1988 at the age of 54. Posthumously, Thek’s work has received widespread acclaim, notably the Diver, A Retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2010. His work has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Met Breuer, Malborough Chelsea, and Andrea Rosen, among others.

Read full biography (whitney.org)

Red Forms, 1982

Red Forms, 1982

mixed media on newspaper
56,5 x 71,7 cm

Artworks

Red Forms, 1982

Red Forms, 1982

mixed media on newspaper
56,5 x 71,7 cm
Inquire

Inquire about