Jack Tworkov “Drawings From the 70s”

Minus Space

poster for Jack Tworkov “Drawings From the 70s”
[Image: Jack Tworkov "Nine Sketches" (1975) Graphite and colored pencil on paper 13.25 x 13.5 in. © 2021 Estate of Jack Tworkov Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY Courtesy of Van Doren Waxter]

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MINUS SPACE presents the survey exhibition Jack Tworkov: Drawings from the 70s. Organized in collaboration with the Estate of Jack Tworkov and Van Doren Waxter LLC, the exhibition presents two dozen works on paper spanning the years 1970-1981, many of which are presented to the public for the very first time.

Renowned painter Jack Tworkov (1900-1982) was at the forefront of American modernism for seven decades. He forged a disciplined painting practice through ever-evolving methods, materials, and formats resulting in a singular artistic vision which continues to be avidly discussed and celebrated today. Starting in the mid to late-1960s, Tworkov’s earlier exuberant, gestural abstraction began to evolve into an increasingly reductive and analytical one. He started to organize his new paintings and accompanying drawings around the grid format and to utilize orthogonal lines, geometric shapes, and a limited color palette. Tworkov’s previously animated brushstrokes transformed into a kind of repeating hashmark that formed shimmering, transparent patterns.

Tworkov’s striking works on paper produced during the 1970s reveal and document the breadth of this experimentation during this critical transition in his late work. On view in the exhibition are a broad array of drawings from this period which range in approach from quick sketches for eventual paintings – sometimes with up to twelve separate studies ganged up a single page – to larger, highly-refined charcoal drawings on paper.

The artist utilized a noteworthy array of drafting materials in these works including graphite, pencil, colored pencil, and charcoal on a variety of supports, such as paper, translucent vellum, and graph paper. With these materials Tworkov explored a broad new visual vocabulary of radiating lines, checkered grids, shifting architectural planes, and translucent triangular and quadrilateral shapes, often dynamically depicted as if balanced on a single corner. Of particular note, the exhibition features ten works from his rigorous, rule-based Knight Series, which were informed by the various L-shaped movements a knight piece could potentially make across the checkered plane of a chessboard. The unpredictable, stepped lines added an inventive element resembling a constellation into the composition of his drawings.

The exhibition will also present one of Tworkov’s contemporaneous, large-format paintings entitled Q2-76 #1 (1976, oil on canvas, 80 x 80 inches), as well as the accompanying study on graph paper. A concurrent exhibition of the artist’s geometric paintings from this period entitled Tworkov: Towards Nirvana / Works from the 70s will also be on view at Van Doren Waxter, 23 E. 73rd Street, New York, NY, from January 14 – March 20, 2021.

Jack Tworkov (1900-1982) was born in Biala, Poland. He emigrated with his mother and sister, the artist Janice Biala, to the United States in 1913. He graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1923. He studied studio art at the National Academy of Design from 1923 to 1924 and at The Art Students League from 1925 to 1926. In 1929, he began painting year-round in Provincetown, MA. He taught at Black Mountain College in Asheville, NC, in 1952. He served as chair of the Art Department at the School of Art and Architecture at Yale University, where he taught from 1963 to 1969, received his Master of Fine Arts in Privatum in 1963, and retired as Professor of Painting, Emeritus in 1969. He remained active artistically, intellectually, and professionally until the last months of his life, and died at home in Provincetown in 1982.

The artist’s work has recently been presented in such significant exhibitions as Epic Abstraction at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2019-2020), Artistic License at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2019), and Pollock e la Scuola di New York at the Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome, Italy (2018).

The artist is represented by Van Doren Waxter, New York, NY.



from February 06, 2021 to May 01, 2021


Jack Tworkov

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