Jack Tworkov (b. 1900, Biala Podlaska, Russian Empire; d. 1982, Provincetown, MA) emigrated to the United States in 1913 with his mother and sister, Janice Biala. Intending to become a writer, he studied at Columbia University but exposure to Cezanne and Matisse inspired him to become an artist. In 1924, he hitchhiked to Provincetown, MA, where he met artists Edwin Dickinson, Ross Moffett, and Karl Knaths who would introduce him to the work of Kandinsky, Klee, and Miró.

Tworkov was an important figure in the New York School and a founding member of the Eighth Street Club. Through mid career, he would exhibit in annuals at the Whitney Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, and the Corcoran Biennial, as well as with Charles Eagan, Stable, Poindexter, and Castelli galleries. Much sought after for his intellect and ideas on art, Tworkov traveled extensive throughout his career as guest lecturer and visiting artist including at Black Mountain College in 1952.

In 1947, American University Art Department Chairman, William Calfee, invited Tworkov to teach a summer course in the department. It was the start of a professional relationship between Tworkov and the art department that continued for over a decade, with summer classes (1947–51), occasional lectures as a visiting artist, and assistance to expand the visiting artist program in the department.

The exposure to the DC community, and the relationship with artists from American University, netted Tworkov exhibitions at Whyte Gallery, the Pan American Union, the Watkins Gallery and later at the Jacobs Ladder Gallery. From the frequent appearances on campus bloomed many personal relationships with the AU community as several of his colleagues and former students corresponded with him, including William Calfee, Robert Gates, Leonard Maurer, Helene McKinsey, Mary Orwen, and Ben Summerford.

After his exhibition at the Jefferson Place Gallery in 1959, Tworkov would go on to be appointed Chairman of the Art Department at Yale School of Art and Architecture (‘64-‘69), and have retrospectives of his work at the Whitney (’64, ’71) and Guggenheim (’82).

Solo Exhibitions
1959—Drawings, Courtesy Stable Gallery, March 26—April 18

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Jack Tworkov on his front porch, Provincetown, MA
Photo: Marvin Lazarus © Estate of Jack Tworkov / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. [ #193 ]

connected archival press clips

Tworkov’s Drawings
Tworkov’s Drawings
April 12, 1959
Washington Star
But most of these large drawings, which from a close view are merely masses of bold and varied strokes, reveal to the observer who backs away from them, nude figures masterfully modeled with light and shadow, which emerge magically from the tangled strokes.
Tworkov’s Drawings
Tworkov’s Drawings
April 12, 1959
Washington Star
The majority of more than 20 black and white drawings on view appear at first glance to be merely coarse scribbles. Heavy cross hatching in charcoal or brush and ink has produced several impenetrable all-black surfaces suggestion the interior of a coal mine at midnight.
Tworkov’s Drawings
Tworkov’s Drawings
April 12, 1959
Washington Star
Jack Tworkov is an abstract expressionist whose career is founded upon sound traditional training at the National Academy of Design and the New York Art Students Leagues. This may account in part for the fact that most of his drawings in his one-man show at the Jefferson Place Gallery… are basically realistic.