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Paul Thek

“PAUL THEK: DIVER, A RETROSPECTIVE”

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

October 21, 2010–January 9, 2011

Curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Lynn Zelevansky

SOMEHOW IT’S FITTING that one of the largest holdings of Paul Thek’s art is in the collection of the archbishop of Cologne. After all, most of the artist’s work has a pretty heavy religious component, and touches, one way or another, on the issue of faith. No wonder Thek left New York in 1967, spending nearly all of the next decade in Europe––it’s not like these topics were weighing on the minds of most art-world insiders at the time. Or at least not according to the way the story of the art world in the 1960s is usually told. Prior to his European sojourn, Thek had begun exhibiting his “Technological Reliquaries” (aka Meat Pieces) in various galleries in New York. These works, featuring human limbs and body parts fashioned from wax

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