Structure & Gesture: Abstract Prints by Jack Tworkov is on view in the Harnett Museum of Art, August 20, 2019, through July 5, 2020. Jack Tworkov (American, born in Poland, 1900-1982) came to prominence in the 1950s as a pivotal member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. Along with artists such as Willem de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, he was part of the 8th Street Club, generally regarded as responsible for introducing the New York School style to the American public. His work from this period was highly gestural abstraction. In the 1960s, his painting moved towards a more geometrical and structural format, and he often echoed his themes in his prints.
The artist wrote of his process, “The limits impose a kind of order, yet the range of unexpected possibilities is infinite.” The prints in this exhibition, from 1975 to 1982, remain expressive yet aptly demonstrate his self-imposed rules and structures. The works exemplify the artist’s abiding interest in mathematics, geometry, and in particular his use of the Fibonacci sequence as a fundamental organizing concept in his compositions. He stated, “I soon arrived at an elementary system of measurements implicit in the geometry of the rectangle which became the basis for simple images that I had deliberately given a somewhat illusionistic cast.”
The exhibition was organized by the University of Richmond Museums, curated by Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums, and made possible in part with funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund.