Jack Tworkov

Works on paper


Untitled (Nightfall), c. 1961

Gouache and ink on paper

9.94h x 12.88w in (25.24h x 32.70w cm)

Untitled (Portrait of Florence), c. 1930

Charcoal on paper

19h x 25w in (48.26h x 63.50w cm)

Untitled (Standing Woman), c. 1946

Watercolor and pencil on paper

19h x 12.63w in (48.26h x 32.07w cm)

Colored Pencil #5, 1974

Colored pencil on paper

18.25h x 23.75w in (46.36h x 60.33w cm)

Untitled (House of the Sun), c. 1952

Oil and pencil on paper

25.50h x 16w in (64.77h x 40.64w cm)

Colored Pencil #2 (Q1-74), 1974

Colored pencil and graphite on paper

18.50h x 23.75w in (46.99h x 60.33w cm)

Expansion and Contraction of the Square, 1982

Graphite and colored pencil on vellum

12h x 30w in (30.48h x 76.20w cm)

Untitled H, 1981

Colored pencil on vellum

13h x 22w in (33.02h x 55.88w cm)

ACD #6, 1960

Charcoal on paper

17.88h x 24w in (45.40h x 60.96w cm)

Untitled (Workman), c. 1935

Charcoal on paper

14.88h x 12.50w in (37.78h x 31.75w cm)

Untitled (Study for Harlem River Landscape), c. 1932

Graphite on paper

12.75h x 19w in (32.39h x 48.26w cm)

Untitled (Abstract Composition), c. 1948

Oil on paper

12.75h x 16w in (32.39h x 40.64w cm)


Jack Tworkov
Works on paper

Tworkov created works on paper as a complement to his painting practice in diverse ways throughout his career. He first became interested in draftsmanship when he took a mechanical drawing class as a student at Stuyvesant High School, prompted by his teacher to enroll in an evening drawing class in 1919. As Tworkov explained, “Drawing was always important to me. I always had the highest opinion of drawing because of what you can do with the simplest possible medium. To reduce everything to a piece of paper and pencil I think is just marvelous; it is one of the highest forms of art.”

From 1942-45 Tworkov applied his skill as a draftsman to work as a tool designer for an engineering and defense company to aid the World War II effort. During these years, he experimented with automatism, a style of drawing derived from the unconscious. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, he used his drawings as preparatory sketches for paintings, and often experimented with new concepts and methods of application in his works on paper.

As Tworkov gradually turned away from what he perceived as the enforced spontaneity of his 1950s work, he applied his interest in organizational and mathematical principles to his works on paper. The evenness of mark-making possible in a drawing appealed to Tworkov’s interest in further flattening the space of two-dimensional surfaces. In the last years of his practice, he applied diagrammatic structures based on elementary geometry, such as the Fibonacci ratio 3:5:8, to the surface of the paper. He then filled the resulting delineations with horizontal rows of methodically repeated marks.