Paul Thek in Process -

The exhibition Paul Thek in Process was born out of the desire to memorialise Paul Thek's spatial work that he realised in Europe and to make it possible to experience it in a larger historic context. Thanks to the historic distance, the latter is possible today. For this, the exhibition is taking new curatorial paths. With the means of the exhibition, we are asking ourselves how this work can be encompassed, who this artist was and how he designed his environments. Can we today still come close to his individual mythology? As exhibition, documentation and inscenation at the same time, the project not only traces the tracks of a lost artistic practice of the 1970s, but also questions the importance of ephemeral material in exhibition contexts, the boundaries of the artwork, the exhibition and institution history, the reception and today's practice of re-inscenation.

According to the respective exhibition the works by Paul Thek will be accompanied by works by Franz Deckwitz, Peter Hujar, Edwin Klein, Cindy Lubar Bishop, Gregory Markopoulos, Linda Rosenkrantz, Susan Sontag, Harald Szeemann, Reinhard Voigt, Wahundra (Lee Fitzgerald), Ann Wilson and Robert Wilson.

Curated by Susanne Neubauer.

Prelude - Paul Thek in Process
Exhibition and book launch of
"Paul Thek Reproduced, 1969-1977"

July 22 - 29, 2011
Another Vacant Space, Berlin


Paul Thek in Process (Duisburg)
April 27 - July 29, 2012
LehmbruckMuseum Duisburg



Paul Thek in Process (Luzern). Also featuring Franz Deckwitz, Peter Hujar, Edwin Klein, Cindy Lubar Bishop, Gregory Markopoulos, Linda Rosenkrantz, Harald Szeemann, Wahundra (Lee Fitzgerald), Ann Wilson and Robert Wilson
August 11 - November 18, 2012
Kunstmuseum Luzern

Paul Thek in Process (Stockholm)
Moderna Museet Stockholm




Related projects and events

Lecture & One evening exhibition,
Aug 16, 2011
The Watermill Center, New York, "Harald Szeemann. Theater, Methodology, Gesamtkunstwerk"
Supported by Pro Helvetia


Website avc
press text

guided tour by Susanne Neubauer, July 21, 2011,
7 pm


Sameer Reddy, Paul Thek in Theory and Practice, The New York Times, July 20, 2011

Katy Diamond Hamer, Paul Thek @ Another Vacant Space, Berlin, July 30, 2011

Devon Atkins, Lost Works, Words left Behind

Sleek Magazine, July 2011





Website LehmbruckMuseum
exhibition folder, page 1
exhibition folder, page 2
press text (German)

talk by Susanne Neubauer, July 19, 2012


"Ein Krippenspiel als 70er Jahre Kunst-Happening", in:
Der Westen, April 3, 2012

"Duisburger Lehmbruck-Museum zeigt Ausstellung über Paul Thek", in: Der Westen, April 26, 2012

"Paul Thek - in Process", in: Duisburgnonstop, April 26, 2012

Peter Klucken, "Lob eines einst Unverstandenen", in:
RP Online, April 26, 2012

"Paul Thek im Lehmbruck-Museum", in: Lokalkompass, April 26, 2012

WDR Lokalzeit, April 24, 2012

Claudia Heinrich, "Paul Thek. Xmas reloaded", in: Heinz, April 25, 2012

Frank M. Fischer, "Paul Thek in Process LehmbruckMuseum"

Duisburg - Fotostrecke, in: Duisburg

"Wohin am Wochenende", in: Monopol, April 27, 2012

Paul Theks Installation von 1973 revisited - Christiane Vielhaber im Gespräch, Deutschlandradio Kultur, 30.4.2012, 17:41 (mp3)

Klaus Hübner, Paul Thek, in Process, in: Westzeit, 6.1.2012

Benjamin Balven-Breuer, "Paul Thek, in Process", in: xity, 26.6.2012

Magdalena Kröner, "Kunst ist Liturgie", artnet, 27.6.2012

Katja Behrens, "Thek ohne Thek", in K.West, Das Kulturmagazin des Westens, 6.2012

Website Kunstmuseum Lucerne
invitation card
press text (German)
Info on e-flux

opening, August 10, 2012, 7 pm

guided tour by Susanne Neubauer, August 12, 2012, 11 am

Science Party, November 17, 2012, 6 pm, open end
discourse, analysis, music, food and bar, featuring Laszlo Glozer, art historian/curator Hamburg, Christoph Lichtin, collection curator Kunstmuseum Luzern, Hans Peter Litscher, aritst Lucerne/Paris, Susanne Neubauer, art historian/curator Berlin/Zurich, Annette Tietenberg, professor for art history Braunschweig, and further guest


Paul Thek, in Process (Luzern), on:, 12.7.2012

sda, "Kunstmuseum spürt Werken Paul Theks nach", in: NLZ, 10.8.2012

Urs Bugmann, "Einzelne Spuren einer flüchtigen Kunst", in: AZ, 11.8.2012

kpn/sda: "Die Suche nach der verlorenen Installation", in: BAZ/TA, 11.8.2012

Urs Bugmann, "Gartenzwerg erinnert an Hippie-Künstler", in: NLZ, 13.8.2012

Paul Thek, in Process, in: kultur-online, 15.11.2012

Gallery of Lost Art, Tate London, Collated Links (access 4.2013)


Website Moderna Museet Stockholm
Opening, March 22, 2013, 5 pm

Talk: March 22, 2013, 5-6 pm:
Location: The Study Gallery

Participants: Susanne Neubauer, Olle Granath, Björn Springfeldt and Jonas Liveröd

Limited availability Pre-book on


In conjunction to the opening of the exhibition Paul Thek, in Process (Stockholm) conversations on the art of Paul Thek take place. The curator, Susanne Neubauer, is moderating the talks where we meet Olle Granath, former director of the Moderna Museet. He became exhibition curator of the Paul Thek exhibition when Pontus Hultén withdraw from the museum in 1971. Björn Springfeldt, also former director of the Moderna Museet, was working at the museum when Pyramid/A Work in in Progress was installed and became curatorial assistance as Thek needed loads of objects to fullfill his ideas. Jonas Liveröd is a Swedish artist based in Malmö, working in many media. He was influenced by the art of Paul Thek already as a young art student in Holland.

The conversations succeding each other will deepen our knowledge about the historical background of the Pyramid/A Work in Progress by Paul Thek from 1971. Discussions are held on how to realise exhibitions based on archive material. What about the legacy of Paul Thek? Is there an impact, internationally, of his art today? Paul Thek is often referred to as “an artist’s artist”. Are there any visible influences in Sweden of his art? Many who saw the installations by Paul Thek loose themselves in vague and mythologizing descriptions, an interesting phenomenon that also is at stake.

Curator of events: Catrin Lundqvist, Moderna Museet


Svenska Dagbladet, 18.4.2013


Dan Backman, "Paul Theks utställning dokumenterad", SvD Kultur, 14.4.2013


Paul Thek, in Process

Susanne Neubauer
Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 2012

In 1971, Harald Szeemann invited the American sculptor and installation pioneer Paul Thek (1933–1988) to contribute to documenta 5. Szeemann had titled one section of the exhibition “Individual Mythologies,” describing a new kind of art structured around mythologies invented by artists, rather than by a culture. Thek’s contribution came to be seen as a paradigm of this trope.
Paul Thek in Process evolves out of the discovery of an unrealized publication project initiated while installing his first space-filling environment, Pyramid/A Work in Progress at the Moderna Museet Stockholm in the winter of 1971, and which was to have been released for documenta 5. For this endeavor, an extraordinary number of images were taken—about 800—capturing the progress of the installation, the opening, and the final state of this pivotal work of 1970s installation art.
Paul Thek in Process evaluates the complex organizational and conceptual task of the installation's eventual realization, and offers an exhibition history written with a view from the inside, with particular attention paid to the status of the ephemeral objects that remain as contingent representatives of the lost work. The book comprises a treasure trove of previously unpublished photographs recording the installation at the Moderna Museet, all of the surviving correspondence between Thek and the museum, work-related ephemera, and press coverage of the work.


Project realized in collaboration with Adam Nankervis, Another Vacant Space, Berlin.

photo documentation

Project realized in collaboration with Dr. Michael Krajewski (curator) and Claudia Thümmler (co-director), Sybille Kastner (art education), Florian Blaschke (press), Christof Hellmann (installation), André Schweers (conservation), Holger Schikofsky (installation), Oliver Kanaß (installation).

Special thanks: The Estate of George Paul Thek, New York / courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, Robert Beavers, Daniel Birnbaum, Ted Bonin, Bruce Boucher, Cindy Bishop Lubar, Joseph Bradshaw, Jean Collier, Thom Donovan, Fanni Fetzer, Stephen Koch, Noah Koshbin, Christoph Lichtin, Ingeborg Lüscher, Linda Rosenkrantz, Bernhard Voigt, Robert Wilson, and Dr. Gottlieb Leinz and Dr. Raimund Stecker, LehmbruckMuseum Duisburg.

photo documentation

Project realized in collaboration with Christoph Lichtin, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Julia Strebelow (assistant curator, PR), Christiane Ostertag (chief technician), Markus Friedrich (technician), Daniel Amhof (technician), Susanne Kudorfer (art education).

Special thanks: The Estate of George Paul Thek, New York / courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York, Robert Beavers, Daniel Birnbaum, Ted Bonin, Bruce Boucher, Cindy Bishop Lubar, Joseph Bradshaw, Jean Collier, Thom Donovan, Stephen Koch, Noah Koshbin, Michael Krajewski, Christoph Lichtin, Ingeborg Lüscher, Linda Rosenkrantz, Raimund Stecker, Robert Wilson, and Fanni Fetzer, Kunstmuseum Luzern.

photo documentation

photo documentation Kunstmuseum Luzern, photographer Stephano Schröter

Project realized in collaboration with Annika Gunnarsson, Moderna Museet, Stockholm.


Symposium "Die Ausstellungskopie"

Hochschule für Bildende Kunst, Braunschweig, Dec 5-7, 2012

Lecture by Susanne Neubauer "Paul Thek, in Process: Zur Ausstellung von ephemerem Werk, Künstlerbiographie und Forschungsprozess" ("Paul Thek, in Process: On the exhibition of the ephemeral work, the artist's biography and the process of research").

Paul Thek in Process. Commentaries on/of an exhibition
Susanne Neubauer, Berlin: Revolver, 2014








last update: Nov 24, 2013

Discussion forum:

Feedback and commentaries:
Mailto Susanne Neubauer
Further information:

background image: Amsterdam 1969, Polaroid, Kunstmuseum Luzern, courtesy The Estate of George Paul Thek, New York
for the website: courtesy Susanne Neubauer at info at susanneneubauer.inf

texts, idea © Susanne Neubauer
images © The George Paul Thek Estate, New York, the institutions, and the photographers

Some remarks on the copyrights of this website:

All the writing on this site is made available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Switzerland License. To find out more about the Creative Commons license klick on the logo and link below and read the terms of the license.

Using information: There are many images available on this site and there will be more. You do not need any permission to cite the information provided by this website, assuming you act within the terms of the license. However, in order to keep the website up-to-date I would be very interested to know where, and for what purpose the information is used. So, if you think it is appropriate, let me know and I will include your research onto the site (i.e. the bibliography). I am interested to know what kind of users are out there, which issues are most interesting, and which are problematic. It would also be interesting to know how you are using the material and in what medium. I am also happy to discuss uses of the material that are not included in the current license, so please contact me. Please be aware that this project is an ongoing research.

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Switzerland Licence.