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Peter Hujar probably met Joseph Raffael (born February 22, 1933) at San Remo, a mixed queer/artist’s bar near Cooper Union. Later Raffael changed the spelling of his name by dropping the final ‘e.’

Before his involvement with Hujar, Raffael had been in a relationship with Jules Perlmutter.

Peter Hujar and Joe Raffael visited Paul Thek and Peter Harvey in Florida in 1956. Harvey was working when the three others decided to visit the Deering estate, Villa Vizcaya, in Miami’s Dade County. They entered the unrestored boat house and, handing the camera back and forth among themselves, produced a series of images never before publicly exhibited. Peter Harvey notes that even in 1956, they knew James Deering, who built Villa Vizcaya, was queer and that the estate was therefore historically gay ground. These photographs anticipate Hujar’s developing interest in abandoned sites, such as the series done in conjunction with David Wojnarowicz in New Jersey in the 1980s. Beni Montresor, a director and theatrical designer, became involved with Joseph Raffael after the relationship with Hujar ended. (Picture: Peter Hujar, Joseph Raffael in a Forest, c. late 1950s, Vintage gelatin silver print, 12 x 9 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco. Photographic references: Paul Thek and His Circle in the 1950s, April 12 - July 7, 2013, Co-curated by Jonathan David Katz and Peter Harvey: http://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-thek-and-his-circle.html)


Paul Thek, Untitled (Peter Hujar and Joe Raffael in the Deering boathouse ruins), 1956, Digital enlargement, 2013, 10.75 x 10.75 in., Collection of Peter Harvey, L2013.10.51
Peter Hujar probably met Raffael at San Remo, a mixed queer/artist’s bar near Cooper Union. Before his involvement with Hujar, Raffael had been in a relationship with Jules Perlmutter. Beni Montresor, a director and theatrical designer, became involved with Joseph Raffael after the relationship with Hujar ended. After Thek return to New York in 1959, his artistic circle of friends included photographer Peter Hujar, as well as Joseph Raffaele, in addition to Susan Sontag.


Paul Thek and Joe Raffael


Peter Hujar, Peter Hujar and Joseph Raffael Sitting on Abandoned Truck on the Beach c. 1956-7, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 12.5 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, L2013.01.7


Peter Hujar, Joseph Raffael in Window, c. late 1950s, Vintage gelatin silver print, 14.5 x 11.5 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, L2013.01.5


Peter Hujar, Joseph Raffael in Grass, September 1956, Gelatin silver print, 5.5 x 4 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, L2013.01.12


Peter Hujar, Untitled (group photo), c. 1966, Contemporary photograph of original print, 12.5 x 12.5 in., Collection of William S. Wilson
This photo, informally titled “The Young Geniuses,” was Hujar’s attempt to portray a group of contemporary artists in 1966 in a manner similar to the 1951 LIFE Magazine portrait of 18 American abstract painters, known as The Irascibles who objected to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition entitled American Painting Today – 1950. Note Thek sitting in the chair, Raffael to the left, and Hujar himself reflected in the mirror.
L2012.36.7


Peter Hujar, Joseph Raffael, c. 1960, Vintage gelatin silver print, 7 x 6.8 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, L2013.01.4


Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964), Beni Montresor, c. early 1960s, Gelatin silver print, 5.4 x 3.4 in., Collection of Richard Hundley

Source: https://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-thek-and-his-circle.html

Paul Thek (November 2, 1933 - August 10, 1988) was an American painter and, later, sculptor and installation artist. Born in Brooklyn, he studied locally, at the Art Students League and the Pratt Institute. In 1951 he entered the Cooper Union. (Unknown, Untitled (Paul Thek leaning on tree) 1955, Vintage black and white photograph, 4.75 x 3.25 in., Collection of Peter Harvey L2012.2.1 Photographic references: Paul Thek and His Circle in the 1950s, April 12 - July 7, 2013, Co-curated by Jonathan David Katz and Peter Harvey)

Although Thek began as a painter, he became known later in life for his sculptures and installations. Notable works include Technological Reliquaries (1964–67), a series of wax sculptures of human body parts, and The Tomb, a bright pink pyramid installation or "environment", which was badly damaged in 1981 but is documented in Edwin Klein's black and white photographs. Today his work may be seen in numerous collections, including that of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Thek, who was bisexual, died of AIDS related illness in New York City in 1988, aged 54


Paul Thek, Portrait of Peter Hujar, c. 1963, Oil on canvas, 51.25 x 51.25 in., Courtesy the Estate of George Paul Thek and Alexander and Bonin, New York
Resembling nothing so much as the photographic contact sheets Hujar himself employed, this painting materializes how deeply interpersonal relationships inform Thek’s artistic choices, in terms of both subject matter and style. Painted when Thek and Hujar were partners (probably along with Hujar’s earlier partner Joseph Raffael) the painting may in fact be obliquely referenced in a letter that same year from Thek to Hujar, “I have you to thank in a great extent for the work I am doing now, an awareness of photographs learned from you.” L2013.07.1



Wilbur Pippin, Paul Thek and Peter Harvey, NYC 1956, 10 x 8 in., Gelatin silver print Watermill Center Collection, L2013.06.15



Wilbur Pippin, Paul Thek, 1956, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 8 in., Collection of Peter Harvey L2013.06.14



Theodore Newman, Untitled (Paul Fisher and Paul Thek with garland crowns, Green Hill, Rhode Island), 1957, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 10 in., Collection of Peter Harvey, L2012.2.31


Peter Hujar, Young Peter Hujar, n.d., Gelatin silver print, 9.5 x 7.5 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, L2013.01.13



















George Joseph Thek was born the second of four children to parents of German and Irish ancestry. In 1950, Thek studied at the Art Students League of New York as well as Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and finally at the Cooper Union School of the Arts in New York from 1951 until 1954.

In 1954, Thek moved to Miami and worked in several different occupations. He formed a partnership with the set designer Peter Harvey, who would design for Balanchine and who introduced him to artists, composers and writers, among them Tennessee Williams. During this time, he created some of his first well-known drawings, including studies in charcoal and graphite, later followed by abstract watercolors and monochrome oil paintings. Thek first referred to himself as Paul Thek starting in 1955. In 1957 Thek exhibited his works for the first time in a Miami gallery.

After his return to New York in 1959, his artistic circle of friends included photographer Peter Hujar, as well as Joseph Raffaele, artist Eva Hesse and Ann Wilson, in addition to Gene Swenson and Susan Sontag. From 1959 until 1962, Thek worked as a textile designer for Prince Studios in New York. During the years between 1962 and 1964, Thek lived and worked in Rome, until his return to New York in 1964. In 1964, he participated in Screen Test by Andy Warhol. His works from 1966 were produced by casting parts from his own body. From the late 1960s and onward, Thek aroused interest with his processual and situation-oriented installations and environments.

During the 1970s, Thek lived in Italy, where he created many works in conjunction with friend and photographer Peter Hujar. In 1976, Thek returned to New York once again. Having lost what prestige he had accumulated in the American art scene of the 1960s, he spent his remaining days washing floors and bagging groceries, however creating art all along. On August 10, 1988, Thek, weakened by HIV/AIDS, died of illness. Susan Sontag dedicated her classic and influential 1966 collection of critical essays, Against Interpretation, which took up with the latest developments in European critical thought—notably that of Roland Barthes—and her later AIDS and its Metaphors to Thek's memory.

In late 2010 the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibited Diver, A Retrospective. Maxwell Heller, in The Brooklyn Rail, describes the show: "On one hand, Thek made a point of working with ephemeral materials like newspaper, wax, unfired clay, and vegetation, building delicate, site-specific installations that he abused and neglected until little remained but the taxidermied birds and severed fingers now on display. Yet, on the other hand, he built the airtight Plexiglas sculptures we see here, reliquaries where his body parts are displayed like sacred objects."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Thek

Paul Thek met set designer Peter Harvey (born January 2, 1933) in Miami Beach in 1954. He had been supporting himself as a hustler while developing his art. Wilbur Pippin, a friend, introduced Thek and Harvey to the renowned mid-century photographer George Platt Lynes. (P: Paul Thek (1933-1988), Untitled (Peter Harvey), 1955, Digital enlargement, 13.5 x 8.8 in., Collection of Peter Harvey, L2013.10.5)

Born in January 2, 1933, in Quirigua, Guatemala, Peter Harvey was the son of Francis William and ZenaErica (Henriquez) Harvey. He currently resides in New York City. Harvey graduated from the University of Miami in Coral Gables in the spring of 1955 and immediately secured work doing theatrical set design, earning enough money to support Thek and free him from having to hustle to support himself.

Harvey first stage work was as set designer for Pantomime for Lovers (ballet), Dade County Auditorium, Miami, 1954. His last known work was as set designer for Foggy Day, 1987, in New York City. In 1956, on a trip to Key West, Thek and Harvey visited with Tennessee Williams, whose play Orpheus Descending was produced at the Coconut Grove Playhouse with sets by Peter Harvey.

Peter Hujar and Joe Raffael visited Paul Thek and Peter Harvey in Florida in 1956. Harvey was working when the three others decided to visit the Deering estate, Villa Vizcaya, in Miami’s Dade County. They entered the unrestored boat house and, handing the camera back and forth among themselves, produced this series of images never before publicly exhibited. Peter Harvey notes that even in 1956, they knew James Deering, who built Villa Vizcaya, was queer and that the estate was therefore historically gay ground. These photographs anticipate Hujar’s developing interest in abandoned sites, such as the series done in conjunction with David Wojnarowicz in New Jersey in the 1980s.

Harvey and Thek moved to New York City, and they shared a house in Greenhill, Rhode Island. Peter Hujar probably met Joe Raffael at San Remo, a mixed queer/artist’s bar near Cooper Union. Before his involvement with Hujar, Raffael had been in a relationship with Jules Perlmutter. After Thek’s return to New York in 1959, his artistic circle of friends included Hujar, as well as Raffaele, artist Eva Hesse and Ann Wilson, in addition to Gene Swenson and Susan Sontag. During the 1970s, Thek lived in Italy, where he created many works in conjunction with Hujar. Both Hujar than Thek died due to AIDS complications, in 1987 and 1988 respectively.


Wilbur Pippin (1924-2003), Untitled (Peter Harvey and Paul Thek in NYC), 1956, Digital enlargement, 10.75 x 10.75 in., Collection of Peter Harvey
Paul Thek and Peter Harvey met in Miami Beach in 1954, the year Thek left Cooper Union in New York and moved to Florida. He had been supporting himself as a hustler while developing his art. This 1956 photograph of the couple is by their friend, press photographer Wilbur Pippin. Previously, Pippin introduced Thek and Harvey to the renowned mid-century photographer George Platt Lynes. L2013.10.25



Theodore Newman (1933-1975), Peter and Two Pauls in Rhode Island (Peter Harvey, Paul Fisher, and Paul Thek) 1957, Contemporary gelatin silver print from original negative, 10.25 x 10.25 in., Collection of Peter Harvey, L2013.03.25


Paul Thek, Untitled (Albert Aleknavorich and Peter Harvey), 1956, Digital enlargement, 7.5 x 7.5 in, Collection of Peter Harvey
Intending to summer in Kennebunkport, Maine, Harvey was designing sets and Thek was to be the house manager of a summer stock theater, but quit after a few weeks. The campy Albert, a long time friend of Harvey’s, was beaten to death by a gay basher in San Francisco in the 1970s. L2013.10.14



George Black, Miami Photo (Richard Leavitt, Peter Harvey, Tennesee Williams, and Paul Thek), 1957 Gelatin silver print, Collection of Peter Harvey L2012.2.49



Wilbur Pippin, Untitled (Peter Harvey), 1956, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 8 in., Collection of Peter Harvey, L2012.2.28



Wilbur Pippin, Paul Thek and Peter Harvey, NYC 1956, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 8 in., Watermill Center Collection, L2013.06.16


Harvey Co-curated with Jonathan David Katz the exhibition "Paul Thek and His Circle in the 1950s," April 12 - July 7, 2013: The storied homophobia of the 1950s hardly reached the young Paul Thek or the young men in his circle. His early work, arguably the gayest of his entire career, is filled with images of his lovers and close friends, including other artists such as Peter Harvey, Peter Hujar and Joseph Raffael (http://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-thek-and-his-circle.html)

Source: http://www.filmreference.com/film/84/Peter-Harvey.html#ixzz2pEeaI2qA

Peter Hujar (October 11, 1934 – November 26, 1987) was an American photographer known for his black and white portraits. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, United States. Hujar later moved to Manhattan to work in the magazine, advertising, and fashion industries. His subjects also consisted of farm animals and nudes. His most famous photograph is Candy Darling on Her Deathbed which was later used by the group Antony and the Johnsons as cover for their album I Am a Bird Now. (P: Peter Hujar, Young Peter Hujar, n.d., Gelatin silver print, 9.5 x 7.5 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, L2013.01.13. Photographic references: Paul Thek and His Circle in the 1950s, April 12 - July 7, 2013, Co-curated by Jonathan David Katz and Peter Harvey, http://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-thek-and-his-circle.html)

Hujar probably met Joseph Raffaele at San Remo, a mixed queer/artist’s bar near Cooper Union. Later Raffael changed the spelling of his name by dropping the final ‘e.’ Before his involvement with Hujar, Raffael had been in a relationship with Jules Perlmutter, whose Figures in a Garden on another wall.

Peter Hujar and Joe Raffael visited Paul Thek and Peter Harvey in Florida in 1956. Harvey was working when the three others decided to visit the Deering estate, Villa Vizcaya, in Miami’s Dade County. They entered the unrestored boat house and, handing the camera back and forth among themselves, produced this series of images never before publicly exhibited. Peter Harvey notes that even in 1956, they knew James Deering, who built Villa Vizcaya, was queer and that the estate was therefore historically gay ground. These photographs anticipate Hujar’s developing interest in abandoned sites, such as the series done in conjunction with David Wojnarowicz in New Jersey in the 1980s.


Peter Hujar, Nude Self-Portrait, #3, 1966, Purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2012, MET 2012.215, © 1966, The Peter Hujar Archive
Peter Hujar (1934 – 1987) was an American photographer known for his black and white portraits. Hujar probably met Joseph Raffaele at San Remo, a mixed queer/artist’s bar near Cooper Union. Hujar became lover with Paul Thek, probably along with Raffael. During the 1970s, Thek and Hujar lived together in Italy. One one-time lover, friend and mentor of artist David Wojnarowicz, Hujar died of AIDS complications on November 26, 1987, aged 53. Thek died in August 10, 1988. Raffael is still alive.
Before his death from AIDS in 1987 at age fifty-three, Hujar was an influential figure in New York’s downtown demimonde. (Nan Goldin once said she never would have become a photographer if it had not been for Hujar.) Hujar’s photographic work is held together less by subject or style than by a particular sensibility: intimate and somber, carnal yet formally refined, cool yet oddly emotional, like a sad song with a good beat. He made this compelling self-portrait in a master class taught by Richard Avedon and Marvin Israel that was also attended by Diane Arbus.



Peter Hujar, Joseph Raffael in a Forest, c. late 1950s, Vintage gelatin silver print, 12 x 9 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Hujar probably met Raffael at San Remo, a mixed queer/artist’s bar near Cooper Union. Later Raffael changed the spelling of his name by dropping the final ‘e.’ Before his involvement with Hujar, Raffael had been in a relationship with Jules Perlmutter, whose Figures in a Garden on another wall. L2013.01.6



Peter Hujar, Portrait of Paul Thek, 1956, Gelatin silver print, 8.3 x 9.3 in., Copyright 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC; courtesy the Watermill Center Collection, L2013.06.9



Peter Hujar, Man in Park, 1981, Purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2011, MET 2011.38, © The Peter Hujar Archive
Hujar spent many nights wandering the streets of downtown Manhattan with his camera, creating images that exude a sense of expectation and desire. This photograph is one of three that he made of men cruising in Stuyvesant Square Park, a few blocks from his loft on Second Avenue.



Peter Hujar, Susan Sontag, 1975, Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2006, MET 2006.183, ©The Peter Hujar Archive


Peter Hujar, Girl in My Hallway, 1976, Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2006, MET 2006.288, ©The Peter Hujar Archive


Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz with a Snake, 1981, Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2006, MET 2006.287, ©The Peter Hujar Archive


AIDS Quilt


After Paul Thek return to New York, from Miami, in 1959, his artistic circle of friends included Hujar, as well as Joseph Raffaele, artist Eva Hesse and Ann Wilson, in addition to Gene Swenson and Susan Sontag.

Hujar became lover with Paul Thek, probably along with Hujar’s earlier partner Joseph Raffael. In a letter to Hujar in 1963, Thek writes, “I have you to thank in a great extent for the work I am doing now, an awareness of photographs learned from you.” During the 1970s, Thek and Hujar lived in Italy, where they created many works in conjunction.

The one-time lover, friend and mentor of artist David Wojnarowicz, Hujar died of AIDS complications on November 26, 1987, aged 53.

The Peter Hujar Archive is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Hujar

Further Readings:

Paul Thek: Diver, A Retrospective (Whitney Museum of American Art)
Series: Whitney Museum of American Art
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: The Whitney Museum of American Art; First Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0300165951
ISBN-13: 978-0300165951
Amazon: Paul Thek: Diver, A Retrospective

An American sculptor, painter, and installation artist, Paul Thek (1933--1988) is primarily known for hyper-realistic works of human body parts executed in fleshlike beeswax and for his strongly symbolic, room-size installations constructed from transitory materials. A major figure on the 1960s New York art scene, Thek also spent time in Europe, where he paved the way for artists adopting collaborative strategies. Although he gained a large following and was featured in more than one hundred solo and group exhibitions, the anti-establishment “artist’s artist” was practically forgotten at the time of his death.

Major exhibitions abroad and critical attention from younger artists have done much to revive his reputation, and Paul Thek: Diver expands on those efforts by bringing the artist’s resounding influence on the art world up to date. Published to accompany Thek’s first retrospective in the United States, this landmark publication includes nearly 300 chronologically arranged illustrations of sculptures, paintings, prints, and other works featured in the exhibition as well as four special “in-depth” image sections focusing on key installations, projects, and pages from the artist’s journals. An extensive selection of documentary photographs, many never before published, illuminate Thek’s artistic aesthetic and production process. With a bibliography, exhibition history, and checklist of works in the exhibition, this overdue acknowledgment of Thek’s brief, but broad-reaching career will be the authoritative volume on the artist for years to come.

More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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