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"Nothing But Time: Paul Thek Revisited 1964-1987" opens at Pace Gallery in London
Installation view of the exhibition at Pace London. Photo: ©Pace Gallery.

LONDON.- Pace presents an exhibition of works by the American artist Paul Thek, from 25 September to 9 November 2013 at 6 Burlington Gardens, on the first floor gallery.

Curated by Kenny Schachter, Nothing But Time: Paul Thek Revisited 1964 – 1987 features a rare and unprecedented group of Paul Thek works, across all the media he used, which has never seen before to this extent in the UK. In the spring of 1966 Pace New York presented one of Thek’s first solo shows, Paul Thek: Recent Work; with it as a stepping stone, Nothing But Time offers a unique new perspective on Thek and will mark a historic moment reuniting the artist with the gallery.

From the earliest paintings on newspaper and the singular Technological Reliquary sculptures to the late watercolours he painted prior to his premature death in 1988, the exhibition explores Paul Thek’s pioneering spirit and presents a concise overview of one of the most expressive and forward thinking artists of his time. The exhibition also features a rare and unparalleled 1969 sketch book with a series of self-portraits and a glimpse into the thought process and working methods of the artist.

“Rarely does such an influential artist that has impacted artists as diverse as Mike Kelley to Damien Hirst, flies below the radar as much as Paul Thek since his untimely death at 53 years old in 1988. After recent retrospectives at the Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Whitney Museum in New York and now this significant gathering of works in London, hopefully such a woefully under-appreciated artist will become more visible to the international community of contemporary art.” Kenny Schachter, August 2013.

Nothing But Time can suggest a metaphysical expanse, a death sentence, or both. In Thek’s case, the passage of time has ameliorated the shameful lack of recognition for his deserved and varied body of work. “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.” Paul Thek, Processions Catalogue, Suzanne Delehanty, 1977, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, page 58.

Paul Thek (b. 1933, NY – 1988, NY) was a conceptual American artist and has been the subject of more than one hundred solo and group exhibitions since 1957 including documenta 5, the 1976 and 1980 Venice Biennales, the 2010-2011 Whitney Museum of American Art’s retrospective etc.

Although trained as a painter at the Art Students League, Pratt Institute, and the Cooper Union School of Art, in New York, Thek moved fluidly to sculpture and quickly established himself as a major figure of the 1960s New York art scene. He also spent time in Europe.

Marginal and forgotten at the time of his death, the artist is best known for his Technological Reliquaries, wood, resin, formica installations that feature realistic wax-made meat and human body parts. Today, his works are included in numerous collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre George Pompidou, Paris, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, the Federation of Migros, Zürich, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Kunstmuseum, Bern etc.

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