The Accident of Choice

Tonight, Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center opens The Accident of Choice featuring the work of Jack Tworkov, an influential artist who taught painting at Black Mountain College in the summer of 1952. The opening is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the

The Accident of Choice is curated by Jason Andrew, an independent curator, producer and archivist who currently lives in New York City. On Saturday, June 18, Andrew will present an illustrated lecture on Tworkov. The talk begins at 11 a.m. and is free to the public. “It is important for people to understand a bit of New York history and Black Mountain College history, but the talk is really centered around Jack Tworkov as a painter,” says Andrew.

Regarded primarily as an abstract expressionist, Tworkov (1900-1982) was well-known throughout his life; museums collected his work and he was shown at popular galleries like the Charles Egan Gallery in NYC. Tworkov was affiliated with the New York School and associated with legendary artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Willem de Koonig and Jackson Pollack. “Jack was unique among the abstract expressionists,” says Andrew. “He didn’t have the larger than life personality of the other artists associated with that movement. He was a family man.”

As is typical of BMCM+AC retrospective exhibitions, The Accident of Choice offers samplings of sketches and paintings by Tworkov that imply his artistic evolution, from his earliest representational works, to portraits in graphite of his family, to abstracts produced later in his career.

Also on display are photographs of Tworkov at work in his studio in Black Mountain College and letters he exchanged with family members and artists like composer Stefan Wolpe. In a five-page letter to his sister Tworkov writes about his experience at Black Mountain College: “This place is apt to do more for my education than I can for the students here.”

Especially delightful are Tworkov’s ink studies on paper and small gestural paintings he gave as gifts — one,” Untitled (House of the Rising Sun)” to Merce Cunningham in exchange for dance lessons for Tworkov’s daughter.

The Accident of Choice will be on display thru September 17. Call 350-8484 for more info.

Photo credits: “Jack Tworkov at BMC in 1952” by Robert Rauschenberg. “House of the Sun Variation,” 1952, oil on canvas, private collection. “Untitled (House of the Sun),” 1952, oil on canvas, collection of Trevor Carlson.

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