Maureen Paley is pleased to present an exhibition of newly discovered photographs taken by Peter Hujar in Paul Thek’s studio from 1967.
Paul Thek moved between New York and various European cities in the 1970s. In addition to the sculptures and installations for which he is best known, he made paintings and drawings based on observation in Ponza (Italy), Fire Island and Manhattan. They punctuate a profoundly disparate practice and suggest a continued engagement with his place in the world.
The images Peter Hujar took in his close friend’s studio in 1967 lovingly probe its ephemera, Thek’s process and his public persona. Originally taken for potential use in association with Thek’s solo exhibition at Stable Gallery, many images in this series providentially document the making of his infamous sculpture The Tomb/Death of a Hippie. Now widely considered to be the masterwork of his 1960s sculpture. The Tomb was destroyed after languishing in storage, with Thek reportedly having refused delivery of the piece in 1981. Aside from the one used for the Stable Gallery announcement, these images have never been published or exhibited until recently. Photographs from this studio session were uncovered during the research for Paul Thek: Diver, a retrospective curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Lynn Zelevansky.
Paul Thek: Diver opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in October 2010 and is on tour to the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Together with these photographs the gallery will also present a series of etchings by Paul Thek.