Meat Cable, 1966. Wax, mixed media and steel cable, 335.3 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm.

The Meat of Sculpture: Paul Thek

One can know quite a bit about American art after 1960 while knowing little or nothing about the work of Paul Thek. Indeed, one can visit many museums with important holdings in modern and contemporary art without chancing upon Thek’s work, and one can digest quite a body of literature on American art before stumbling across his name. Thek did not belong to any dominant artistic current when he came of age: he embraced highly illusionistic figuration at a time when illusionism was disdained and figuration considered passé—though the stylizations of Pop art did give the latter new meaning. Although Thek showed with some prominent galleries early on, he seemed a marginal figure—the art world likes to keep its storyline simple and does not allow too many outsiders at the table. ...see the entire article in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.