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Untitled (Meat Pyramid)

1964 Paul Thek Born: New York, New York 1933 Died: New York, New York 1988 mixed media: plaster, glass, mirror, chrome and wax 18 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 12 3/4 in. (46.2 x 46.5 x 32.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Fredric B. Mueller 1979.15.2 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 51A


Luce Center Quote

"I didn't make it to be beautiful or ugly, or bad or good. I just do it because I like it. It doesn't matter how the public reacts." Paul Thek, Time, June 13, 1969

Luce Center Label

This "meat" sculpture is one in a series of Technological Reliquaries that Paul Thek made in the mid-1960s. In the series the artist placed lifelike wax models of flesh in hard-edged clear cases. The glass structure, which keeps the viewer outside and imprisons the wax-flesh inside, echoes the way that machines have made personal contact less common in our fast-paced modern world. Thek hoped that the "raw flesh" would provoke people into "seeing more than they do." This work calls attention to the fragility of human life and reminds us of our need for spirituality and love.

Keywords

Abstract

sculpture

glass

metal - chrome

mixed media

plaster

About Paul Thek

Born: New York, New York 1933 Died: New York, New York 1988

More works in the collection by
Paul Thek