Paul Thek was one of the foremost artists of the postwar era. His unique place in art history may perhaps even be compared to that of Joseph Beuys. Like Beuys, Thek extended the concept of the artwork and broadened perceptions of art and life. A deep sense of religion and the belief that art should serve society were a source of both inspiration and strength.
Thek‘s Wax Meat Pieces, Technological Reliquaries and in particular his environments such as The Tomb attracted considerable attention in the USA, where he exhibited widely, as well as in Europe, where he took part in the 1968 documenta 4, the 1972 documenta 5 and the 1976 Venice Biennale.
Beside paintings, drawings and bronces, Thek also made installations and frequently used unconventional materials such as newspapers, sand and plants, at risk of them being ephemeral, and he also liked to operate as part of a collective. —Axel Jablonski