Thek’s Tomb

IN THE FIRST VOLUME OF La Vie Artistique, Gustave Geffroy refers to Whistler’s Mother and employs a startling critical device. “I would like to give to those who are interested in such matters,” he says, “the address of a masterpiece.” Geffroy’s arresting formula is entirely applicable to Thek’s Tomb. The gallery in which it is installed is the Stable Gallery although at this reading the Tomb will no longer be open to public inspection. For this reason, then, these partisan notes may carry some future validity as they attempt to describe a monument which may easily prove to be one of the unanticipated yet representative masterworks of American sculpture of the sixties. There are many indications in this piece that, like Duchamp’s Large Glass, the work represents a summation and an adieu.

One enters a spacious, rosily-lit and incensed haze out of which rises a large, three-tiered ziggurat.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.