new-york

Jack Tworkov

Mitchell-Innes & Nash | Uptown

OF ALL THE AMERICAN ARTISTS who caught the mid-century disease known as Willem de Kooning, none had it earlier, longer, or less profoundly than Jack Tworkov. At least that is one way to diagnose the recent exhibition of Tworkov’s drawings and a few paintings.

The show amounted to a grab bag of works mostly from the artist’s estate and made no claim to be more than that. Despite the fact that 2000 marks the hundredth anniversary of Tworkov’s birth, this was no retrospective. Yet it had the virtue of focusing on the most interesting part of his career, from roughly 1953 to 1965, after he renounced de Kooning and before he found himself.

In the ’50s nearly everyone seemed to be singing, “I’m just wild about Bill,” even painters who would later prove as distinct from one another as Al Held, Grace Hartigan, Lester Johnson, and Tworkov himself. What made de Kooning such an attractive model while

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