The work of American artist Paul Thek will be exhibited at the Pace Gallery in London through November 9. Thek was a conceptual artist and hugely underappreciated at the time of his death in 1988. Trained as a painter at the Pratt Institute and Cooper Union School of Art, Thek is considered one of the most significant figures of the 1960s art scene in New York. He transitioned to working with sculpture after his formal training, and is most well known for his Technological Reliquaries installations that feature wax-made meat and human body parts. Though he died at age 55 under celebrated, the work of Paul Thek has been growing in significance and continues to influence a range of artist as diverse as Mike Kelley and Damian Hirst.
Nothing But Time: Paul Thek Revisited 1964-1987 displays Thek’s most well-known pieces as well as his notebooks and journals revealing the most intimate circulation of Thek’s concepts and expressions. From his earliest paintings on newspaper, to the Technological Reliquaries to the watercolors Thek created towards the end of his life, the Pace gallery presents a survey of the impressive range of this artist’s production.
The impact of Thek reverberates still in grotesque sculptural work and intervention of multimedia form. The work of Thek proves as powerful and provocative as it did in the years of its production, and incites questions of the sensual and misshapen potentials for aesthetic range. The title of this show is taken from an interview done with the artist in 1977 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “I sometimes think that there is nothing but time, that what you see and what you feel is what time looks like at the moment.” The Pace gallery and the show’s curator, Kenny Schachter, have put together a show that spans the life of a hugely influential artist and suggests the volatility of the physical form, aesthetic project and human life.