View at the top of the stairs at Alexander Gray Associates in Chelsea
If you're in New York City and reading this today, stop what you're doing and head over to Alexander Gray Associates in Chelsea. The splendid exhibition, Jack Tworkov: Mark and Grid, 1931-1982, is up through tomorrow, October 24. If there's no chance of your getting there, read on.
Born in Poland, Tworkov emigrated to the United States at 13 and studied at the Art Stuents League and the National Academy of Design. He lived and worked in New York City and Provincetown, and he had a definitive influence on the art of the Sixties and Seventies as a professor and then chair of the art department at Yale. Viewing this work, you would probably not be surprised to learn that Jennifer Bartlett, Brice Marden, and Robert Mangold were among his students.
Jack Tworkov: Mark and Grid, 1931-1982 was curated by the gallery in collaboration with the redoubtable Jason Andrew, who among his many curatorial projects manages the Estate of Jack Tworkov.
This is Tworkov's last painting. What a way to leave this plane, eh?
Compression and Expansion of the Square (Q3-82 #2), 1982, oil on canvas
Detail below, with mark and grid very much in evidence
P73 #5,1973, oil on canvas
Gallery notes tell us that this painting is the first of ten works in a series painted in the artist's studio in Provincetown . It is to me the most architectural of the paintings in the exhibition, its space defined in perspectival terms. You see this painting from a distance in the opening photo in this post
Details above and below
At the top of the stairs looking left, with Note, shown below, on the far wall
Note, 1968, oil on linen
View of the opposite end of the gallery, shot with Note at my right shoulder
Closer view of the far corner, with Knight Series #8 (Q3-77 #2), 1977, oil on canvas and Alternative IX (OC-Q1-78 #5)
Alternative IX (OC-Q1-78 #5), 1978, oil on canvas
Gallery notes tell us that ten paintings make up this series as well, and that the gridded composion is based on "a Fibonacci sequence derived from a 3:5:8: ratio." Tworkov's aim was to use this sequence to create-- I think these are the artist's words-- "identical structures but make each one a totally different painting experience (through) the color and the brushing." I am lingering here because this series is my favorite of his oeuvre.
(I have a fond memory of rounding the corner at the Cape Cod Museum of Art a few years ago and seeing this painting >>, clearly related, if not from the same series, on a yellow wall.)
And here we are where we started
I mean it: If you're in New York City, go see this show