Tworkov, Jack

Tworkov, Jack,

1900–82, American painter, b. Bela, Russia (now Biała, Poland). His family immigrated to the United States in 1913 and settled in New York. He studied at Columbia (B.A., 1923) and later at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students' League. He became an American citizen in 1928. During the Great Depression, Tworkov worked (1935–41) for the WPA's Federal Art Project, painting in a social realist style. In the 1950s he, his friend Willem de Kooningde Kooning, Willem
, 1904–97, American painter, b. Netherlands; studied Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques. De Kooning immigrated to the United States, arriving as a stowaway in 1926 and settling in New York City, where he worked on the Federal Arts Project
..... Click the link for more information.
, and several other artists created abstract expressionismabstract expressionism,
movement of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the mid-1940s and attained singular prominence in American art in the following decade; also called action painting and the New York school.
..... Click the link for more information.
. He became known for large abstract canvases covered with brilliantly colored, flamelike brushstrokes, e.g., Pink Mississippi (1954, Rockefeller Univ.) and Blue Cradle (1956), which are his best-known paintings. Works from the 1960s on are generally geometric rather than gestural, frequently built of broad grids of intersecting, usually subdued color. Tworkov taught at a number of colleges and headed (1963–69) the Yale art department.


See M. Schor, ed., The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov (2009).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Tworkov, Jack

(1900–82) painter; born in Biala, Poland. He emigrated to New York (1913), studied at Columbia University (1920–23), and at the National Academy of Design (1923–25). Based in New York and Provincetown, Mass., he taught at many schools and was part of the New York school of painting in the 1940s and 1950s, as seen in The Wheel (1953).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.