The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, May 25, 2018

DC Moore Gallery Celebrates the Life and Work of George Tooker in Exhibition
George Tooker, Landscape with Figures, 1965-66. Egg tempera on gessoed panel, 26 x 30 inches. Private Collection. Image courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY.

NEW YORK, NY.- George Tooker: Reality Returns as a Dream celebrates the life and art of a painter whose powerful imagery and technical mastery made him one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation. For over sixty years, Tooker (1920-2011) has been highly regarded for his luminous and often enigmatic paintings. His themes range from alienation and the dehumanizing aspects of contemporary society to personal meditations on the human condition. Over the course of his long career, he created fewer than 170 paintings, most of which are seldom on public view. As such, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see a select group of works from museums, private collections, and the artist’s estate that span his career, from the late 1940s to the 2000s.The exhibition includes Subway (1950), Tooker’s best-known work, on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art.

A deeply spiritual and contemplative man, Tooker created hauntingly beautiful modernist works through an intuitive artistic process combined with a precise and deliberate technique. “My pictures start on a fairly unconscious level,” he explained, and while his work is essentially representational, he felt that he was more involved in creating abstractions than in depicting reality. He was not interested in rendering events or documenting life, but was after the essence of experience. In doing so, he chose a timeless method to pursue his purpose. He preferred working in egg tempera, a traditional Renaissance medium that produces a rich, lustrous finish yet demands focused attention and exacting execution. His figures, too, often embody classical sensibilities even when they are placed in contemporary settings.

By reducing action and anecdote to subtle gestures and juxtapositions that carry meaning and express essential truths, Tooker created modern allegories without traditional narrative content. The curator and ballet enthusiast, Lincoln Kirstein, once defined his work as Magic Realism, which has since been frequently used to describe his paintings. Tooker never cared much for that characterization, though, because he considered his work to be rooted in actual human experience, not fantasy or Surrealism. “I am after painting reality impressed on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream, but I am not after painting dreams as such, or fantasy,” he has said.

In the early 1940s, Tooker studied with Reginald Marsh, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Harry Sternberg at the Art Students League in New York. He met Paul Cadmus in 1944, and then Jared and Margaret French, artists who became lifelong friends. Cadmus and French, in particular, encouraged him to adopt egg tempera as his primary medium.
Tooker first came to prominence for imaginative visions that expressed the uncertainty of the Cold War era. He also frequently addressed issues of race and oppression in his work, and was very involved with the Civil Rights Movement, in one instance marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, Alabama.

In 1960, Tooker relocated from Brooklyn to a house that he and his partner had built in Hartland, Vermont, not far from the French’s summer home. The relative solitude of rural Vermont suited Tooker, allowing him to concentrate almost entirely on his art and spiritual life. He continued to paint penetrating critiques of contemporary society, such as Landscape with Figures (1965-66), a powerful work that explores the dehumanization and estrangement of nameless individuals in the modern world. Increasingly, though, he focused on more personal concerns, creating images like Embrace of Peace II (1988), which resonates with compassion and tolerance, expressing his lifelong belief in the enduring themes of human fellowship and universal brotherhood.

Today's News

June 18, 2011

Dazzling Display by the Greatest Viennese Artists Opens at the National Gallery of Victoria

Sotheby's Three-Part Single-Owner Evill/Frost Sale Closes with Final Total of $69,343,051

The Guggenheim Acquires Three Seminal Works by Artist, Philosopher, and Poet Lee Ufan.

World's Top Fair for Modern and Contemporary Art Suggests Boom Times Are Back

National Gallery of Canada Unveils Rare Exhibition Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome

Matthew H. Robb Assumes Role as Associate Curator of Ancient American and Native American Art

Debbie Reynolds Auctions Off Hollywood Treasures Tomorrow at Profiles in History

Montreal Museum Develops the First International Exhibition Devoted to Jean Paul Gaultier

Museum for Photography in Berlin Presents Important German Photographer Abisag Tüllmann

DC Moore Gallery Celebrates the Life and Work of George Tooker in Exhibition

Coming to the United Kingdom: A Half-Mile Long Woman's Body by Architect Charles Jencks

2011 Pittsburgh Biennial Presents Nine Contemporary Artists with Strong Ties to City

Park Service Says Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania to Be 'Healing'

Imaginary Visions of the Land on the Nile from the Biedermeier Era at the Liechtenstein Museum

Coltrane House, Chicago Hospital Called Endangered

Maryland Hometown Honors Abolitionist Frederick Douglass After Years of Debate

Georgia Museum Dishes the History of Vidalia Onions

Malcolm S. Forbes Collection Highlights $1+ Million Auction at Heritage

A 1,500 Year Old Public Building Dating to the Byzantine Period was Revealed in Excavations

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful