Paul Thek. Italian Hours
The Nicola Del Roscio Foundation presents, from Thursday 28th October 2022 a Saturday 28th January 2023, a new exhibition project dedicated to one a key figure of contemporary art history: Paul Thek (New York, US 1933-1988). “Paul Thek. Italian Hours”, curated by Peter Benson Miller, is a collaboration with the Watermill Center, Alexander and Bonin, New York, and the Estate of George Paul Thek.
A host of recent scholarship has shed new light on Paul Thek’s complex and enduring relationship to Italy and its fundamental impact on his innovative, genre-defying work in a variety of media.
Indebted to these accounts, “Paul Thek. Italian Hours”, the first of its kind in Italy since 1995, reunites a selection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures–including vestiges of his seminal, now lost work The Tomb–marked by his experiences in Rome, Sicily and the island of Ponza.
Returning to Italy repeatedly between 1962 and 1975, Thek responded to archaeological sites, burial practices, religious processions, as well as characteristic elements of the Italian landscape, in what amounts to a baroque response to Pop Art and Minimalism and their predilection for dispassionate industrial production.
His work also evidences meaningful dialogue with a community of other contemporary artists working in Italy, including Cy Twombly and Piero Manzoni. These cosmopolitan connections, encouraged by Thek’s relationship with arts patron and gallerist Topazia Alliata, are often overlooked in attempts to fit Thek into an exclusively American postwar trajectory. Demonstrating Thek’s versatility as an artist, and his enduring legacy, this exhibition explores the role of Italy as a catalyst in various key moments in his career.