Paul Thek: Tales the Tortoise Taught Us
Text by Margrit Brehm, Roberto Ohrt, Axel Heil.
There are some artists who are never forgotten simply because other artists will constantly cite them as examples. Paul Thek (1933-1988) is one such artist. Revered for his disarming humor and irreverent handling of artworld proprieties, and much lamented for his premature death from AIDS at the age of 55, the likes of Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Mike Kelley, John Miller, Paul McCarthy, Kim Gordon and Matthew Barney have all sung his praises. Tales the Tortoise Told Us is a three-part Thek compendium, composed of writing by Margit Brehm, Axel Heil and Roberto Ort (who discuss the artist's ambivalent relationship with his homeland, and Thek's odd place in the Beat and Hippie generation), a large spread of reproductions of Thek works and a chronologically-arranged survey of works from 1963 up to the artist's death in 1988.