The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Hosts Exhibition of Jack Tworkov

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artwork: Jack Tworkov - "Untitled (House of the Sun)", 1952 - Oil on canvas - 14" x 12" - Collection of Trevor Carlson, New York - Courtesy Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, NC. On view in "Jack Tworkov: The Accident of Choice, the artist at Black Mountain College" until September 17th.


Asheville, NC.- The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in downtown Asheville is pleased to present “Jack Tworkov: The Accident of Choice, the artist at Black Mountain College”. Organized and curated by Jason Andrew, this historic exhibition includes important works by Jack Tworkov, who taught painting at Black Mountain College during the summer of 1952. On view will be paintings and drawings by Tworkov ranging from 1948-52 including works from one of the artist’s most noted series, House of the Sun that began at Black Mountain College. The exhibition remains on view at the museum until September 17th. Also on exhibit are letters, photographs, and ephemera from students and fellow artists including >Fielding Dawson, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, and Stephan Wolpe; photographs of Jack Tworkov at Black Mountain College by Robert Rauschenberg, and several original works by Rauschenberg from 1952.

artwork: Jack Tworkov - "House of the Sun" 1952-53 - Oil on canvas - 54" x 50" Private Collection, Portland, OR/Courtesy Estate of Jack Tworkov and Mitchell-Innes & Nash.Jack Tworkov (1900-1982) was a founding member of the >New York School and is regarded as one of the great artists, along with Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Clifford Still, whose gestural paintings of the 1950s formed the basis for the Abstract Expressionist movement in America. In the summer of 1952, Tworkov was invited to teach painting at Black Mountain College. By 1952, Jack Tworkov had gained recognition as one of the most masterful artists of his generation. At the same time, his reputation as a teacher and mentor was also on the rise. Tworkov was a powerful intellectual, and believed in being open to all forms of inspiration and expression. His interdisciplinary attitude and his balanced exchange of ideas made it possible for him to form lasting relationships with composers >John Cage, Morton Feldman, Stefan Wolpe, choreographer Merce Cunningham and fellow painters Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and the young Robert Rauschenberg to name a few.

Accident of Choice refers to the experimental nature inherent in all forms of expression—painting, sculpture, dance, film, drama. Decisions (whether conscious or unconscious) are intrinsic to the process of creating. Inherent in those choices are accidents—the spontaneous slide of the brush or the unexpected weight change when creating a dance. These choices confirm the will of the artist. It was the exploitation of such unexpected moments that this generation of artists that came into prominence in the 1940s and 50s were open to, and these artists, composers and writers became associated with the New York School. The title also lends insight to Tworkov’s philosophy to balance the spontaneous and automatic with the conscious and the planned. “My hope,” Tworkov wrote in a statement for his 1957 show at the Stable Gallery, ”is to confront the picture without a ready technique or a prepared attitude–a condition which is nevertheless never completely attainable; to have no program and, necessarily then, no conceived style.

To paint no Tworkovs”. “Accident of Choice” features work by Jack Tworkov spanning the time period of 1948-1952 with a particular focus on a single series of paintings that began from a sketch made at Black Mountain College. The artist titled the series “House of the Sun.” Various examples of the series, which, as a subject the artist describes he did not choose, “but he came to know” derived from a series of paintings inspired by the theme of Odyssey. Important paintings and drawings from the series are included. The focus of the exhibition quickly broadens beyond the artist’s process to include his interactions and friendships with other artists of the time who together embraced the overall experimental nature that was Black Mountain College. This includes letters and ephemera from Fielding Dawson, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, and Stephan Wolpe; photographs of Jack Tworkov at Black Mountain College by Robert Rauschenberg, and several original works by Rauschenberg from 1952.

artwork: Installation view of "Jack Tworkov: Accident of Choice, The Artist at Black Mountain College 1952" Photo: Jason Andrew, courtesy Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, NC.

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is an exhibition space and resource center dedicated to exploring the history and legacy of the world’s most acclaimed experimental educational community. We offer changing exhibitions, a video archive, research materials, and a selection of books and other materials for sale. The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center was founded in 1993 by Mary Holden to honor and pay tribute to the spirit and history of Black Mountain College and to acknowledge the College’s role as a forerunner in progressive, interdisciplinary education with a focus on the arts. Through exhibitions, publications, lectures, films, seminars, and oral history interviews BMCM+AC is committed to spreading awareness of Black Mountain College and its important legacy. In 1995 we organized a Black Mountain College reunion attended by former faculty and students. Other ongoing projects include the development of a permanent collection and archive to provide safe storage for artwork and historical materials related to the College and a series of publications about the college and the people associated with it. The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center aspires to provide a place where multifaceted programming can take place in an energetic environment. Our goal is to provide a forum for people from a variety of backgrounds in both the arts and sciences to interact so that art, ideas, and discourse are integrated with an emphasis on process rather than product. The home of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center provides a forum to perpetuate the energy, vision, and accomplishments that made Black Mountain College one of the most creative educational forces of the 20th century. At the same time, BMCM+AC sponsors new programs to promote an innovative and experimental approach to today’s issues and concerns. Thus the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center preserves and perpetuates the guiding spirit of historic Black Mountain College as an inspiration for contemporary society. The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center preserves and continues the unique legacy of educational and artistic innovation of Black Mountain College for public study and enjoyment. We achieve our mission through collection, conservation, and educational activities including exhibitions, publications and public programs. Visit the museum’s website at … http://www.blackmountaincollege.org