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Paul Thek & Peter Hujar

October 21st, 2010

Peterpaul

  • Relics of Paul Thek (An introduction to Paul Thek)

  • Paul Thek: Diver, A Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art:October 21st – January 9th, 2011

  • EXHIBITION: Paul Thek: cityscapes and other ideas
    Peter Hujar: Thek’s studio 1967 At Alexander and Bonin.
    DATES: October 16 – November 27, 2010

    The relationship between Thek and Hujar developed into one of the most important in both their lives. They spent the summer of 1963 in Sicily and visited the Capuchin catacombs near Palermo, where Hujar took unforgettable photographs, and where the rows of human remains in glass boxes had a profound impact on Thek’s work. In Rome, Thek made his sculpture La Corazza di Michelangelo, covering a plaster miniature breast plate in paint and wax. This is the oldest piece in the Diver exhibition. Shortly after his time in Rome, Thek began making his Technological Reliquaries, or “meat pieces.” He showed these at his first New York exhibition, in 1964, at the legendary Stable Gallery. Placed within Plexiglas boxes and hung on walls, the works were deeply disturbing and were taken by many as a comment on the cool remoteness of the geometric sculpture then on view in New York galleries (work later called Minimalism).(Post Thing Net )

    Eggplant paulthekeggplant Paul Thek 1974

    In 1983, Thek wrote to a friend, “As you may know NYC is ripe with plague now, “aids”….The gay scene here now is vastly different then what you may recall, many have died of it and sexual conduct has undergone enormous changes…It’s better than The Plague! We get to go! It’s better than dying alone for your own silly little reason! This way we get to go out with a real BANG!”
    In late July, 1988, Thek returned to New York City from a monestary in Vermont, very ill, & was hospitalized. He dictated his will naming Robert Wilson the executor. Sheyla Baykal remembered Thek’s wry humor as Thek described the proceedings as a “career move.” (It’s About Time)

    paulthek2 (via)

    See a portrait of Susan Sontag by Pete Hujar (1934 – 1987)
    Susan Sontag dedicated two of her books to Paul Thek (1933-1988)

    Body of Work – Audio slideshow (Peter Schjeldahl -The New Yorker)

    Relics of Paul Thek

    June 1st, 2009

    Paul Thek pthekmixed1 Untitled, 1968

    Paul Thek, who died of AIDS in 1988, first gained notice with his Technological Reliquaries (1964-67), yellow-tinted Plexiglas boxes that contained realistic wax replicas of human tissue, hair, teeth and bone. Influenced in part by Thek’s complicated attachment to his Catholic faith, these visceral sculptures were later echoed by the more esthetically detached work of Robert Gober, Damien Hirst and Matthew Barney.(Via)

    Paul Thek thek-portrait by Peter Hujar
    Susan Sontag dedicated her classic book “Against Interpretation” to Paul Thek. (1966)

    1959-62 Thek lives in New York. He supports himself by designing textiles at Prince Studios. He meets the writer Susan Sontag. They become close friends. (via)

    Chalice ptchalice from Paul Thek Project
    What is PT Project?

    This site is dedicated to the installation work of Paul Thek. It is an ongoing project to collect and contextualize documentary photography and other relevant sources around Paul Thek’s environments

    Shortcut to a labyrinth of PT’s mind
    Objects include – boat <> <> bridge <> <> candle <> <> pyramid

    Paul Thek pthekm
    La Corazza di Michelangelo, 1963

    Paul Thek at Rove TV includes many paintings.

    Paul Thek Worship Zone by Dennis Cooper. (All you need to know about Paul Thek is here).

    Should the artist be a man of the word? Paul Thek came up in the ’50s and ’60s, when it was hard to answer “no,” when “avant-garde artist” became a profession, an idea that repulsed him. Wrestling with this question in 1979, Thek wrote to a priest, “I am OK, still trying to be ‘an artist’ in the secular world . . . as you know, the world is the world, very ‘worldly,’ etc., etc.” He longed for recognition, but had little respect for posturing or artistic orthodoxies, retreating to Europe – and even, late in his life, to a monastery – for long periods.

    Thanks to Hal Lam for reminding me about Paul Thek.

    Update: Paul Thek & Peter Hujar Peterpaul
    (Paul Thek’s Retrospective at the Whitney Museum + a show at Alexander & Bonin – Oct 2010)

    Leg with Candle – Robert Gober

    September 13th, 2007

    Leg with Candle by Robert Gober
    Leg with Candle (wax, human hair, leather, cotton and wood)

    Three artists pay heartfelt tribute to Elizabeth Murray. (R.I.P Elizabeth Murray from vitro-nasu)
    We learned that Robert Gober helped strech her stretchers. Guess what yesterday (Sept 12) was his birthday. Happy birthday Robert!

    Sinks at Diabeacon or see more google-gober images here.

    A good friend was dying of AIDS at the time Gober was fabricating Subconscious Sink at the very beginning of the epidemic. The sink suggests cleansing rituals, although with no running water there is no ability to wash clean or purify. In this regard, a font of Holy Water comes to mind, but one disabled with no blessed water to sanctify–not an implausible association given Gober’s Catholic background and the emergence in the 1990s of overt religious imagery in his work.(via)

    X Playpen X Playpen by Robert Gober