Paul Thek: Etchings
13/04 – 30/06/2022

Jan Mot is delighted to present “Paul Thek: Etchings”. These works were part of Thek’s solo exhibition at the gallery in 2019. The series of etchings was posthumously printed after finding a number of copper plates in Paul Thek’s New York storage in 1989, one year after his death. Images include a campfire, a balloon, a prune, a one-eyed potato, a “tarbaby” and a sequential triptych of a glowing heart rising above the Earth. All these subjects appear in contemporaneous paintings on newspaper or bronzes but only two of the etchings themselves were produced and exhibited during the artist’s lifetime.

Paul Thek
Untitled (14 plates), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper, estate stamped
66 x 50,8 cm (paper), 70 x 54 cm (framed)
Edition 10 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs

€ 9.300 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Prunes), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper, estate stamped
19,5 x 24,4 cm (paper), 9 x 11,5 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Wild Oaf), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Tarbaby), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually 

Sold

Only available as part of complete set of all 28 prints.
Edition of 12 (numbered in pencil I/XII – XII/XII)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Broken Glass), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Scourging of Beau Jangles), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Tower of Babel), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Bouncing Earth, 2nd Time), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Horned Cross), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Falls the Third Time), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 15 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (This is My Bodys), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Stars and Stripes), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Beau Jangles), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Swan), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
19,5 x 25,5 cm (paper), 9 x 11,5 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Eye), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
19,5 x 25,5 cm (paper), 9 x 11,5 cm (plate)
Edition 13 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (8 plates), 1975/2010
Etching on paper
78 x 56 cm (paper), 79 x 59 cm (framed)
Edition 6 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs on Arches Cover paper, estate stamped
Edition 3 of 12 (numbered in pencil I/XII – XII/XII) + 3 artist’s proofs on Fabriano Artistico paper, estate stamped

€ 9.300 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Ave Eva), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Campfire), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 16 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Balloon), 1975/92
etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Prune), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
19,5 x 24,4 cm (paper), 9 x 11,5 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Potato Flag), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Rising Heart 1st Version), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 10 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Rising Heart 2nd Version), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Rising Heart 3rd Version), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 10 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (The Cross of Polyana), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 10 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Coming Out of the Hills), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (The People of the Earth), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Sweet Corn), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek
Untitled (Burning Book), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually 

Sold

Only available as part of complete set of all 28 prints.
Edition of 12 (numbered in pencil I/XII – XII/XII)

Paul Thek
Untitled (I am, Am I?), 1975/92
Etching on handmade Twinrocker paper
24,4 x 19,5 cm (paper), 11,5 x 9 cm (plate)
Edition 13 and 21 of 25 (numbered in pencil 1/25 – 25/25) + 6 artist’s proofs: issued individually

€ 2.200 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping)

Paul Thek Catalogue:

Paul Thek - I Am AM I, 2019

This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Paul Thek. I AM, AM I? at the gallery in 2019. It reproduces the complete series of 30 etchings, including 28 of them at scale 1:1. With texts by Ted Bonin.

Made in collaboration with Alexander and Bonin, New York.

Paul Thek
Paul Thek. I AM, AM I?
Year: 2019
Language: EN
Pages: 80 p.
Edition: 750
Publisher: Jan Mot, Brussels
Description: Paperback
Dimensions: 21 x 15 cm

€ 25 (incl. VAT, excl. shipping*)

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I am am i
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Paul Thek. I AM, AM I?, Jan Mot, Brussels, 2019
Installation views by Philippe De Gobert

THE CROSS OF POLLYANNA AND CASANDRA/THE “GOOD vs THE ‘TRUE!’”

by Ted Bonin

In 1989, a year after his death, a multitude of works were discovered in Paul Thek’s New York storage unit.[1] Among hundreds of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and notebooks were three sheets of paper with etched images. Each was printed from small metal plates, a traditional form of printmaking that has almost disappeared in our digital age. These three sheets were the first indication of a significant body of work painstakingly made but never exhibited.

A signed and dated arrangement of fourteen images in unmatched rows was inscribed “Artist’s Proof.” The second sheet had thirteen images and was also inscribed and signed. The third—and most mysterious—sheet was made from eight entirely different plates. It had an unloved appearance—no signature or inscription and somewhat stained. A story was unfolding.

A comparison of the twenty-eight plates with the images used on the three proofs revealed that six of the plates had not been utilized. Further examination of those six suggested a potential chronology of the platemaking:

This first group are beautifully etched, with extensive cross-hatching and compositions of a night sky with stars and comets, four of the plates have text:

THE CROSS OF POLLYANNA AND CASANDRA/THE “GOOD vs THE ‘TRUE!’”

COMING OUT OF THE HILLS, AMERICAN PICASSOS, OR BUST

THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH WILL NOT FIGHT ANOTHER WAR/THEY DECIDE TO CIVILY DISOBEY

SWEET CORN/DOG EATS DOG[2]

When printed, the words appear backwards. These four plates were almost certainly etched by Thek without the realization that the images and texts would be reversed. The two other unused plates depicted a burning book and the all capital letters inscription “I AM, AM I”, the latter a jubilant reference to the “failure” of the first four plates. The second group of plates are those used for the eight-plate composition, in two columns of four. The crosshatching echoes the grounds of the first group, as does the night sky imagery. The extensive marking suggests an interest in making a work in the tradition of Old Master printmakers. “AVE EVA” at the upper left evokes Christian prayer, Biblical figures, and a nod to Thek’s friend and fellow artist Eva Hesse. Other images include a campfire, a balloon, a prune, a one-eyed potato, and a vertically arranged sequential triptych of a glowing heart rising above the Earth. All these subjects appear in contemporaneous paintings on newspaper or bronzes. That this was a finalized composition was confirmed when a signed, dated, and inscribed proof with the same arrangement of plates was exhibited at ZKM Center for Art and Media, Kahlsruhe in 2007. [3]

The composition of fourteen plates was exhibited during Thek’s lifetime and was reproduced in Paul Thek: Processions, where it is catalogued as Artist’s Proof, 1975.[4] The images on these plates have a different look. The subjects are more graphic, more sign-like. An image of a swan dipping its neck into water includes the text “FALLS THE THIRD TIME” suggesting a Station of the Cross. Images and text include both Biblical references (TOWER OF BABEL, HORNED CROSS, THIS IS MY BODYS) as well as a Christ-like figure and artist surrogates (WILD OAF, TARBABY, THE SCOURGING OF BEAU JANGLES and BEAU JANGLES DANCING ON A DIME).

Precedents for the imagery in Thek’s etchings can be found in a 1975 notebook which includes black ink drawings of ideas for bronzes. [5] Thek’s handwriting describes them as CLOD OF EARTH, PIECE OF BIRTHDAY CAKE, LANTERN, LOAF OF BREAD, MOUSE EATEN TUNNEL ALL THE WAY THRU, PIED PIPER’S CAMPFIRE, PUMPKIN PYRAMID, POPE’S EYEGLASSES, TARBABY, BOWL OF CHERRIES. The majority of these was cast in bronze and is collectively referred to as The Personal Effects of the Pied Piper, 1975.

 

[1] The inventory was conducted by the author and Dennis Redmond.        
[2] In this text Thek’s orthography and punctuation have been retained for inscriptions.                           
[3]Falckenberg, Harald, and Peter Weibel, eds. Paul Thek: Artist’s Artist. ex. cat., Cambridge, : MIT Press; Karlsruhe: ZKM/Center for Art and Media, 2008 p. 539                        
[4]Paul Thek: Processions, Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 1977, p. 45        
[5] A facsimile of this notebook is one of the inserts in Paul Thek, ex. cat. Paris: Galerie Alexandre Iolas, 1976.

This text was published in Paul Thek. I AM, AM I?, Jan Mot, Brussels, 2019, English, 80 pages, 21 x 15 cm