Jack Tworkov (American, born August 15, 1900–died September 4, 1982) was a Polish-born Abstract Expressionist painter, based in New York, NY, and Provincetown, MA. Born in Biala, Tworkov moved to the United States as a teenager with his mother and sister, painter Janice Biala (American, 1903–2000). Tworkov attended Columbia University to become a writer, but—inspired by French painters Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) and Henri Matisse (1869–1954)—switched his focus to art, and studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League of New York. During the Depression, Tworkov worked for the WPA Federal Art Project, and became friends with artists such as Willem de Kooning (American/Dutch, 1904–1997), Arshile Gorky (American, 1904–1948), and Mark Rothko (American, 1903–1970); their work was the foundation of the New York School of painting. Tworkov’s style evolved during the course of his career from brightly colored and Expressionist works, to more geometric, cool pieces. From the 1950s until his death, he was also a devoted teacher, serving as a visiting artist at Black Mountain College, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and numerous other institutions, and was also was chairman of the art department at Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture. Tworkov’s work was exhibited at museums around the world, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Working until only a few months before his death, Tworkov died in Provincetown in 1982.

Timeline

1900
Born Biala, Poland
1913
Emigrated to the United States
1923
Begins summering in Provincetown, MA
1923–1925
Studied at National Academy of Design
1928
Becomes a United States citizen. Member of New England Society of Contemporary Art
1934
Works on the Federal Art Project of the WPA (Easel Division), New York. Begins long association with Willem de Kooning
1949
Becomes a member of "The Club" and "New York School"
1952
Teaches Black Mountain College, NC
1948–1953
Shares adjoining studios with Willem de Kooning
1963
Appointed Chairman of the Art Department Yale University
1971
Doctor of Fine Arts, Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore, MD
1972
Doctor of Human Letters, Columbia University, New York
1974
Medal for Painting, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME
1976
Distinguished Teaching Art Award, College Art Association of America, New York, NY
1979
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
1981
Elected member American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York
1982
Dies Provincetown, MA

Exhibitions

2010
Early Figuratives by Jack Tworkov from the 1940's and 1950's (directly from The Estate of Jack Tworkov), Open Art, American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich
2010
Le Grand Geste, Sammlung Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Germany
2009
American Contemporary Gallery, Munich (solo)
2009
Jack Tworkov: Against Extremes/Five Decades, UBS Art Gallery, New York, NY
2008–2009
Peggy Guggenheim e la nuova pittura Americana, ARCA, Ex-Chiesa di San Marco, Vercelli, Italy
2008
The Late Paintings of Jack Tworkov, ACME Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2007
Jack Tworkov: Rythm, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY
2006
Jack Tworkov: Paintings 1929-1949, Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL
2005–2006
Ecole de New York – Expressionisme abstrait américain – oeuvres sur papier, Galerie contemporaine du musée d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain, MAMAC Nice, France (cat.)
2005–2006
Ecole de New York, MAMAC Nice, France
2005
Ecole de New York: Expressionnisme abstrait Americain, Musee d'Art, Moderne, Nice
2001
Jack Tworkov, Ameringer/Howard/Yohe Fine Art, New York, NY (solo)
2000
(to Present) Jack Tworkov, Mitchell-Innes and Nash
2000
Conrad Marca-Relli, Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt
2000
Jack Tworkov: Works from 1940-1966, American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich, Germany (solo)
1998
Twentieth Century American Drawings, The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, traveling exhibition
1994
Jack Tworkov, Manny Silverman, Los Angeles, CA
1990–1992
Jack Tworkov, Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York
1987
Jack Tworkov, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
1974–1985
Jack Tworkov, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York
1982
Jack Tworkov, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
1981
American Drawing in Black and White: 1970-1980, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
1981
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1979
Art in America after World War IISolomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
1979
Jack Tworkov, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, traveling exhibition to Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; Academy Gallery, Liverpool, England; Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland; Hatton Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
1976
Jack Tworkov, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1976
The Golden Door: Artist-Immigrants of America, 1876-1976, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington, DC
1974
Painting and Sculpture Today, Indianapolis of Art, USA (cat.)
1972
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1972
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (solo)
1971
Jack Tworkov, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (solo)
1958–1965
Jack Tworkov, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
1964
Jack Tworkov, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, traveling exhibition to Washington Gallery of Modern Art, DC; San Francisco Museum of Art, CA (solo)
1964
Recent Paintings by Jack Tworkov, Yale Art Gallery, New Haven (solo)
1962
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1961
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1961
The Collection of Mr. And Mrs. Ben Heller, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (cat.)
1961
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (solo)
1960
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1959
New York and Paris: Painting in the Fifties, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
1958–1959
The New American Painting as Shown in Eight European Countries, International Program of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (cat.)
1958
The New American Painting, International Program of the Museum of Modern Art New York, NY, traveling exhibition to eight European countries
1957–1958
Jack Tworkov, Stable Gallery, New York
1957
Paintings by Jack Tworkov, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (solo)
1957
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1947–1954
Jack Tworkov, Charles Egan Gallery, New York
1953
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1952
American Vanguard Art for Paris, organized by the Sidney Janis Gallery for Galerie de France, Paris
1951
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York, USA
1949
The One Hundred and Forty-Third Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA (cat.)
1948
The One Hundred and Forty-Third Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA (cat.)
1948
Paintings of Jack Tworkov, Baltimore Museum of Art (solo)
1941
New Directions in American Painting, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
1941
Two Hundred American Watercolors, Whitney Museum of Fine Arts, New York (cat.)
1940
Jack Tworkov: Paintings, ACA Gallery, New York
1931–1935
Dudensing Gallery, New York
1926–1928
Provincetown Art Association, Provincetown, MA