Hogue-Sponenburgh Art Lecture Series features Paul Thek discussion
Contemporary art scholar, professor and critic George Baker will present an illustrated lecture, “Paul Thek: Notes from the Underground,” Nov. 7, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall at Willamette University’s College of Law. The Hogue-Sponenburgh Art Lecture Series presentation is free and open to the public.
Drawing from his recent catalog essay for a Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition, Baker’s lecture focuses on the challenging and vivid work of influential contemporary artist Paul Thek (1933-1988).
Thek initially gained notoriety in New York during the 1960s with a series of sculptures called “meat pieces,” which were flesh-like constructions encased in Plexiglas boxes. Through his use of perishable and fragile materials, Thek highlights the ephemerality of both art and life, experimenting with themes of religion, theater and literature.
Baker seeks to account for Thek’s contribution as a painter late in his life by considering the logic of his whole body of work. Baker identifies a new, disruptive notion of the “underground” to describe the social space in which Thek worked and the devices he developed.
A leading art critic and a prolific historian of modern and contemporary art, Baker has taught art history and theory at UCLA since 2003. Baker is the author of “The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris” and several other books. Currently, he is writing a short book on the work of four women artists, “Lateness and Longing: On the Afterlife of Photography.”
“Paul Thek: Notes from the Underground”
Nov. 7, 2011, 7:30 p.m., Free
Paulus Lecture Hall
Willamette University College of Law
245 Winter Street SE