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Paul Thek
(November 2, 1933 - August 10, 1988) USA

Paul Thek

Painter, sculptor

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George Joseph Thek was born the second of four children to parents of German and Irish ancestry. In 1950, Thek studied at the Art Students League of New York as well as Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and finally at Cooper Union School of the Arts in New York from 1951 until 1954.

In 1954, Thek moved to Miami and worked in several different occupations. He formed a partnership with the set designer Peter Harvey, who would design for Balanchine and who introduced him to artists, composers and writers, among them Tennessee Williams. During this time, he created some of his first well-known drawings, including studies in charcoal and graphite, later followed by abstract watercolors and monochrome oil paintings.

Thek first referred to himself as Paul Thek starting in 1955. In 1957 Thek exhibited his works for the first time in a Miami gallery.

After his return to New York in 1959, his artistic circle of friends included photographer Peter Hujar, as well as Joseph Raffaele, artist Eva Hesse and Ann Wilson, in addition to Gene Swenson and Susan Sontag. From 1959 until 1962, Thek worked as a textile designer for Prince Studios in New York.

During the years between 1962 and 1964, Thek lived and worked in Rome, until his return to New York in 1964. In 1964, he participated in Screen Test by Andy Warhol. His works from 1966 were produced by casting parts from his own body. From the late 1960s and onward, Thek aroused interest with his processual and situation-oriented installations and environments.

During the 1970s, Thek lived in Italy, where he created many works in conjunction with friend and photographer Peter Hujar. In 1976, Thek returned to New York once again. Having lost what prestige he had accumulated in the American art scene of the 1960s, he spent his remaining days washing floors and bagging groceries, however creating art all along.

Paul Thek, who was bisexual, died of AIDS related illness in New York City, aged 54.

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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