Jack Tworkov, Knight Series, Alexander Gray Associates

Jack Tworkov, Knight Series #2 (Q3-75 #3), 1975
Oil on canvas, 90 x 75 inches.
© 2015 JACK TWORKOV/LICENSED BY VAGA, NEW YORK/ COURTESY ALEXANDER GRAY ASSOCIATES, NEW YORK

Tworkov, who was born in Biala, Poland, in 1900, was a key member of the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, and in 1949 was a cofounder of the Eighth Street Club, which was one of the central meeting points of the movement, but later in his career he broke from the style, making geometric abstraction with conceptual underpinnings that still sometimes included loose brushstrokes.

“He’s one of these figures who is often on the margins,” said Gray, who is known for championing under-sung artists. “Tworkov’s margin is that he was not afraid to change position and be skeptical about commodification and cult of personality and all of the plagues of our current art world.” He added, “The late work is so fascinating. I’m really blown away by how fresh it looks.”

The estate had been working independently in recent years, but in the past had been represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York.

Tworkov taught widely, including a stint as visiting artist at the storied Black Mountain College in 1952 and at the Yale School of Art and Architecture in the 1960s, where he was chair of its art department. He died in 1982 at the age of 82.

Those looking to get a sense of the artist’s protean career can head to the estate’s website, where curator Jason Andrew, who manages the estate, has compiled an online catalogue raisonné with hundreds of his works. “I’ve looked at so many online catalogue raisonnés, and this is the best one I have ever seen,” Gray said. “This was the most satisfying database to just get lost in.”