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Jack Tworkov

American, 1900-1982


Curating Works


Jack Tworkov was born in Biala, Poland in 1900. In 1913, Tworkov, his mother, and younger sister travelled to New York via Ellis Island. Upon arriving to America, both children changed their names, Yakov became Jack, and his sister Schenehaia became Janice Biala. Tworkov studied writing at Columbia University initially. He also studied at the National Academy of Design from 1923-1924. His sister, Janice Biala encouraged him to attend classes at the Art Students League where he studied 1925-1926. Tworkov worked in the WPA where he met Willem de Kooning. Tworkov and de Kooning met many other abstract painters, and together with a group of abstract expressionists Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, founded the New York School.Tworkov was also tied to the 8th Street Club. Tworkov taught at American University, Black Mountain College, Queens College, Pratt Institute, University of Minnesota, Columbia University, and Yale. Jack Tworkov was a leading figure of Abstract Expressionism and a truly remarkable painter. His works are in the collections of MoMA, Metropolitan, Whitney, Smithsonian, Carnegie Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Phillips Collection.