Paul Thek: Diver, A Retrospective is the first major museum exhibition in the United States to review the career of this groundbreaking American artist.
Thek’s best-known work is unique in form and unusual in its concerns, yet he found common ground with other artists of his generation and gave voice to powerful social and philosophical currents in the broader culture of the 1960s and 1970s. His art could be simultaneously intensely spiritual and insistently profane, lyrical and base. At a time when artists were known for their signature styles, he refused that kind of success, producing architecturally scaled collaborative installations as well as small pieces that were quiet, contemplative, and private. In the 1980s, Thek was largely forgotten, but in the last decade and a half, extensive research on his career has been done in Europe. This will be the first major treatment of his work in his own country.
The exhibition is co-organized by Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art, and Elisabeth Sussman, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Support for Paul Thek: Diver, A Retrospective is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Dietrich Foundation, and Gail and Tony Ganz. Major support for Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation is provided by The Henry L. Hillman Fund, the Virginia Kaufman Fund, The Fellows of Carnegie Museum of Art, the Beal Publication Fund, Ann and Marty McGuinn, and Agnes Gund.