Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paul Thek and his circle

I saw the very good exhibition "Paul Thek and his circle in the 1950s" at the Leslie Lohman Museum of gay and lesbian art yesterday and say yes to everyone seeing it. Personal and touching there are lots of wonderful photographs of the handsome young Thek and his friends including Peter Hujar and the painter Joseph Raffael, including many by Hujar that are being shown for the first time. There are also paintings, drawings and artworks mostly by Thek but also by some the members of his "circle" I met Thek once a year before he passed when my old friend the sculptor Ed Shostak brought Paul to meet me where I was working because Paul liked my work and wanted to meet me. We had shown at the same gallery in Germany. We were both shy but I was delighted to have the chance to meet him and sad when he died the next year. Of course we had his very good retrospective at the Whitney a couple of years ago, but this show is different because it focuses on Thek's close gay relationships and the political and social Milieu of the time. The show was curated by Peter Harvey who was a close friend and lover of Paul's and Jonathan David Katz and the free very nice 20pg. brochure includes essays by both. This place is one of the treasures of New York City and they generally put on really interesting shows while maintaining a permanent collection of more than 20,00 works "spanning more than three centuries of queer art."


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