THEK, Paul and Edwin Klein. A Document ... (Amsterdam and Stockholm: Stedelijk Museum and Moderna Museet, 1969).

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THEK, Paul and Edwin Klein.
A Document ...
(Amsterdam and Stockholm: Stedelijk Museum and Moderna Museet, 1969).

Folio (411 × 307 mm), pp.[128]. Illustrated throughout with double-page black-and-white photographs. Printed 1/3 wrappers; light rubbing to wrappers, shallow diagonal crease to top and bottom corners of first few pages, small closed tear lightly strengthened with tape and light marking to final page. As with some copies of this book, laid in to this copy is a folded poster (400 × 580 mm / 15.75 × 22.83 in.) for the Moderna Museet, Stockholm exhibition which ran from November 6 1971 - January 9 1972, blue, printed in black with an image silk-screened in pink to verso; light toning to fold. An attractive just about near-fine copy of a scarce book that given its size and format is prone to wear.

First edition, with a poster for an exhibition at the Moderna Museet laid in. Paul Thek is primarily known as a sculptor and was one of the first artists to create works that were exhibited as environments or installations. He rose to prominence in New York in the 1960s before moving to Europe in 1967 where he enjoyed a successful courtship by many important museums. On his return in 1976 he found that in his absence the New York art world of the late-1970s and 1980s was uninterested in his legacy and could not find a place for his work. His reputation has grown steadily since his death in 1988 and he was recently the subject of retrospective exhibitions in 2008 at the Museum fur Neue Kunst, Karlruhe and in 2010 at the Whitney, New York.

In 1968 Thek made a series of works for an exhibition at Galerie M.E. Thelen, Essen. During transportation to the gallery from Rome, where he was based at the time, all of the works were seriously damaged. Thek opted to repair them in the gallery during the run of the exhibition, finishing the final piece a week before the exhibition was due to close. This 'Work in Progress' prompted Edy de Wilde and Pontus Hulten, directors of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm to invite him to conceive exhibitions. 'The Procession/The Artist’s Coop' opened at the Stedelijk Museum in 1969. Two years later Thek mounted 'Pyramid, A Work in Progress' at the Moderna Museet. A Document was co-published by these two institutions. It consists of various objects, books, and photographs being laid out and photographed on top of a single spread from the International Herald Tribune. It was made in collaboration with Dutch photographer Edwin Klein, Jean-Paul Vroom and other members of the Artist’s Co-op, a rotating group of artists who worked with Thek on his installations.


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