Jack Tworkov

 

Paintings

 1950–65
Christmas Morning (1951)
Oil on paper mounted on masonite, 29.13h x 38.88w in (74h x 98.8w cm)
Collection Newark Museum, NJ
Christmas Morning (1951)
Oil on paper mounted on masonite, 29.13h x 38.88w in (74h x 98.8w cm)
Collection Newark Museum, NJ
Duo II (1956)
Oil on canvas, 81h x 42w in (205.7h x 106.7w cm)
Collection Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Duo II (1956)
Oil on canvas, 81h x 42w in (205.7h x 106.7w cm)
Collection Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Vulcan (1959)
Oil on canvas, 61h x 40w in (154.9h x 101.6w cm)
Collection Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Vulcan (1959)
Oil on canvas, 61h x 40w in (154.9h x 101.6w cm)
Collection Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
To Stefan Wolpe (1960)
Oil on canvas, 89h x 75w in (226.1h x 190.5w cm)
Collection Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Austin, TX
To Stefan Wolpe (1960)
Oil on canvas, 89h x 75w in (226.1h x 190.5w cm)
Collection Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Austin, TX
Pink Mississippi (1954)
Oil on canvas, 60h x 50w in (152.4h x 127w cm)
Collection The Rockefeller University, New York
Pink Mississippi (1954)
Oil on canvas, 60h x 50w in (152.4h x 127w cm)
Collection The Rockefeller University, New York
West 23rd (1963)
Oil on canvas, 60.13h x 80w in (152.7h x 203.2w cm)
Collection Museum of Modern Art, New York
West 23rd (1963)
Oil on canvas, 60.13h x 80w in (152.7h x 203.2w cm)
Collection Museum of Modern Art, New York
Adagio (1953)
Oil on canvas, 80h x 28w in (203.2h x 71.1w cm)
Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Adagio (1953)
Oil on canvas, 80h x 28w in (203.2h x 71.1w cm)
Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

About this Series / Project

Jack Tworkov
Paintings
1950–65

Jack Tworkov never compromised his own beliefs to satisfy trends or fashions. He participated in the development of abstraction in painting on his own terms. By the late 1940s, Tworkov along with Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Mark Rothko, among other artists, had created the seminal Eighth Street Club and were squarely placed at the forefront of the development of Abstract Expressionism. Throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s, Tworkov’s formal innovation centered on the way in which he applied paint to canvas, which evolved from skeins of precisely applied paint to accumulations of flamelike brushstrokes. During this period, Tworkov also experimented with line and color as he increasingly distanced himself from representation.

Through the height of the 1950s, Tworkov maintained a connection to figuration, as seen in work from the first-half of the decade, including his 1952-53 series derived from Homer’s The Odyssey. During this time, Tworkov invented new images in the form of biomorphic, angular shapes that often reference ancient myths and heroes. Notably, Tworkov used his talent as a draftsman in order to fracture the compositional space of his two-dimensional canvases, creating surfaces that exude energy.

By the late 1950s, Tworkov fully embraced gesturalism and abandoned figural abstraction. He employed chromatic effects applied with defiant brushstrokes to heighten the paint’s materiality. As Tworkov became more confident in his technique, he began to use arbitrary titles, such as Pink Mississippi (1954), that further severed any relationship to the abstract imagery.

As Tworkov progressed into abstraction, an underlying structure appeared on the canvas, rendered with a simplified palette and bold brushstrokes. His directional, all-over application of paint created solid surfaces of verticals, horizontals, and diagonals. Significantly, his painterly cross-hatching led him to gridded compositions, a framework Tworkov expanded throughout his career.

Artist Info