"The American sculptor and painter Paul Thek (1933-1988) created objects that made him a legend. In the mid-1960s, he first exhibited his ""Meat Pieces,"" relics made of wax and latex and enclosed in plexiglass boxes that were meant to recall human flesh. He also created extraordinary environments out of movable pieces from art, literature, theater, and religion. By using fragile and perishable materials, Thek emphasized the ephemeral quality of his work and hence his own-and everyone else's-mortality.
The Belgian artist Luc Tuymans (b. 1958) paints sparingly colored representational pictures based on preexisting photographic and video imagery. Showing objects and people that seem entirely innocuous at first glance, his paintings abstract from reality, often with somber overtones. This medium has allowed Tuymans to explore sensitive issues such as the Holocaust and 9/11. Tuymans curated the show ""Paul Thek Luc Tuymans: WHY?!"" at Galerie Isabella Czarnowska, Berlin, which united his own works with representative pieces he cherishes. Despite the considerable differences separating the two artists, the show hinted at close affinities between them that go far beyond superficial similarities.
In this book, Luc Tuymans, the collector Harald Falckenberg, and the curator and author Julian Heynen discuss Tuymans's relationship with Thek and the role of Mike Kelley, who was instrumental in reviving critical interest in Thek's work."show more