1940's

Portrait of Z. Sharkey  , c.1948, Oil on canvas with graphite, 32 x 24 in. (81.3 x 61 cm) Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice Gift, Estate of Jack Tworkov, 2013.78 (CR009A)

Portrait of Z. Sharkey, c.1948, Oil on canvas with graphite, 32 x 24 in. (81.3 x 61 cm) Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice Gift, Estate of Jack Tworkov, 2013.78 (CR009A)

With the advent of World War II, Tworkov, like many other artists, briefly stops painting to support the war effort as a tool designer. As the war comes to an end, Tworkov recommits himself to painting, discovering post war painting in New York moving against two repressive experiences: the rhetoric of Social Realism, preached especially by the artists and ideologues on the arts projects of the thirties, and the hegemony of Paris in modern art. His response was to generate an art that stood against all formulas, an art in which impulse, instinct, and the automatic was mandate. As a founder of The Club, Tworkov becomes a leading intellect of the movement soon to be defined as Abstract Expressionism.

Work from this decade is marked by a search for an abstract “mark” in compositions that reference still- life, landscape, and the figure.

Tworkov begins regular solo exhibitions at the Charles Egan Gallery (‘47, ‘49). First solo museum exhibition takes place at the Baltimore Museum of Art (‘48). Major group exhibitions include: New Directions in American Painting at the Carnegie Institute (‘41), Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, Corcoran Gallery of Art (‘49)


Peter Freeby