George Tooker (American, 1920–2011) was a painter associated with the Magic Realism and Social Realism movements, and is best known for his depictions of alienation in modern city life. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he studied literature at Harvard University, and in 1943 studied at the Art Students League in New York under Social Realist painters Reginald Marsh and Kenneth Hayes Miller. In his early work, Tooker focused on urban loneliness and disillusionment, as in his painting The Subway (1950), which depicts office workers trapped in a maze of prison-like passageways. Similarly, his Landscape with Figures (1965) is a grid of cubicles, lit with an eerie, red glow and filled with the heads of expressionless workers. In his later work, Tooker explored more symbolic themes, drawn from biblical, mythological, and classic literature. His interest in Renaissance painters, such as Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca, is particularly evident in works such as Embrace of Peace II (1988) and Dark Angel (1996). Tooker’s work is currently held in several public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.