Photography by Peter Hujar
In the Eighties, Paul Thek was called ‘one of the great failures in contemporary art.’ Now, a posthumous retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York seeks to change all that. Thek’s work ranges from casts of various body parts to ethereal paintings of gnomes, dinosaurs, mushrooms and other fits of ’60s and ’70s psychedelia. While considered an artist’s artist today, Thek made quite a few friends throughout his brief career, which spanned from the mid-60s until his death in the late 80s. Photographs by his lover, the late Peter Hujar, are included in the show. So is a painting he made for Susan Sontag, who dedicated Against Interpretation and AIDS and its Metaphors to him.