Tworkov at Black Mountain College


Jack Tworkov, Robert Rauschenberg, Black Mountain College Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is pleased to present Jack Tworkov: The Accident of Choice, the artist at Black Mountain College, June 17-September 17, 2011. Organized and curated by Jason Andrew, this historic exhibition includes important works by Jack Tworkov, who taught painting at Black Mountain College during the summer of 1952. On view will be paintings and drawings by the artist ranging from 1948-52 including works from one of the artist's most noted series, House of the Sun that began at Black Mountain College.

Also on exhibit will be letters, photographs, and ephemera from students and fellow artists including Fielding Dawson, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, and Stefan Wolpe; photographs of Jack Tworkov at Black Mountain College by Robert Rauschenberg, and several original works by Rauschenberg from 1952.

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompanies the exhibition including an essay by the exhibition curator, Jason Andrew; a never-before printed interview with Jack Tworkov conducted by the historian Irving Sandler in 1957; and a re-print of the article Tworkov Paints A Picture written by Fairfield Porter and published in Art News in 1953.

Exhibition curator Jason Andrew will give a special lecture about Jack Tworkov on Saturday, June 18 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Admission is free.

ABOUT JACK TWORKOV. Jack Tworkov (1900-1982) was a founding member of the New York School and is regarded as one of the great artists, along with Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Clifford Still, whose gestural paintings of the 1950s formed the basis for the Abstract Expressionist movement in America. In the summer of 1952, Tworkov was invited to teach painting at Black Mountain College.

By 1952, Jack Tworkov had gained recognition as one of the most masterful artists of his generation. At the same time, his reputation as a teacher and mentor was also on the rise. Tworkov was a powerful intellectual, and believed in being open to all forms of inspiration and expression. His interdisciplinary attitude and his balanced exchange of ideas made it possible for him to form lasting relationships with composers John Cage, Morton Feldman, Stefan Wolpe, choreographer Merce Cunningham and fellow painters Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and the young Robert Rauschenberg to name a few.

ABOUT THE TITLE: ACCIDENT OF CHOICE. Accident of Choice refers to the experimental nature inherent in all forms of expression—painting, sculpture, dance, film, drama. Decisions (whether conscious or unconscious) are intrinsic to the process of creating. Inherent in those choices are accidents—the spontaneous slide of the brush or the unexpected weight change when creating a dance. These choices confirm the will of the artist. It was the exploitation of such unexpected moments that this generation of artists that came into prominence in the 1940s and 50s were open to, and these artists, composers and writers became associated with the New York School. The title also lends insight to Tworkov’s philosophy to balance the spontaneous and automatic with the conscious and the planned.

"My hope,” Tworkov wrote in a statement for his 1957 show at the Stable Gallery, ”is to confront the picture without a ready technique or a prepared attitude--a condition which is nevertheless never completely attainable; to have no program and, necessarily then, no conceived style. To paint no Tworkovs."

Accident of Choice features work by Jack Tworkov spanning the time period of 1948-1952 with a particular focus on a single series of paintings that began from a sketch made at Black Mountain College. The artist titled the series “House of the Sun.” Various examples of the series, which, as a subject the artist describes he did not choose, “but he came to know” derived from a series of paintings inspired by the theme of Odyssey. Important paintings and drawings from the series are included.

The focus of the exhibition quickly broadens beyond the artist’s process to include his interactions and friendships with other artists of the time who together embraced the overall experimental nature that was Black Mountain College. This includes letters and ephemera from Fielding Dawson, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, and Stephan Wolpe; photographs of Jack Tworkov at Black Mountain College by Robert Rauschenberg, and several original works by Rauschenberg from 1952.

ABOUT THE CURATOR. Jason Andrew is an independent curator, producer, and archivist. A prominent figure in the Bushwick art scene, Mr. Andrew is the founding director of Norte Maar, which encourages, promotes and supports collaborations in the arts and whose mission is to create, promote and present collaborations within the disciplines of visual, literary, and the performing arts.  His imaginative projects include exhibitions of visual art and unique performances of dance. Mr. Andrew is also the co-owner / co-director of Storefront Gallery in Bushwick. The gallery has been critically reviewed in The New York Times and Art in America.

Guarding against special interests in any particular style or genre, his curatorial projects bridge gaps left in art history and reflect the creative imagination of the past, present and future. Recent curatorial projects include the retrospective exhibition Jack Tworkov: Against Extremes / Five Decades of Painting (2009); Jack Tworkov: Accident of Choice, the artist at Black Mountain College (2011).

Mr. Andrew recently produced the ballet In the Use of Others for the Change, which featured the choreography of Julia K. Gleich and collaborations with Audra Wolowiec (Sound), Austin Thomas (Set), Kevin Regan (Text), and Andrew Hurst (Sound + Projection). The production was profiled in The New Criterion and The Brooklyn Rail.

Mr. Andrew was recently sited by L Magazine as one of the important people making the new Brooklyn.

Purchase the catalogue