Paul Thek: Diver, A Retrospective

Solo en Inglès

Exhibition co-curators Elisabeth Sussman and Lynn Zelevansky discuss a selection of works by the legendary American artist, Paul Thek. The audio guide includes commentary by artist Neil Jenney and literary scholar Ed Burns, who also reads excerpts from the artist’s extensive writings.

Paul Thek (1933–1988) and Edwin Klein (b. 1946), A document made by Paul Thek and Edwin Klein. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum; and Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 1969. Alexander and Bonin, New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins


NARRATOR: Thek made this book with Edwin Klein, a friend, photographer, and member of the artist’s co-op—the group that helped Thek to create his installations. Here, Thek and Klein attempted to capture the activity of the studio as they prepared for an exhibition. Snapshots are layered with seemingly random objects and images: ”everything that surrounded us in our daily life,” Klein explained. He photographed the assemblages against an open newspaper spread. Elisabeth Sussman describes the work’s significance:

ELISABETH SUSSMAN:The newspaper speaks to the reality of the outerworld at the moment and the collages that appear on the newspaper speak to the inner reality of Thek's studio. And there is just generally a sense of confusion, chaos, eroticism, and surfeit of imagery, all of which go into the mood of Thek's studio and which he tries to transfer into these installations themselves. And so it captures that process in a way that nothing else we have left from Paul Thek does.

NARRATOR: Elsewhere in this gallery, you can see a film of the co-op creating an installation made in Lucerne, called Ark, Pyramid-Easter.

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