Jack Tworkov’s painting style in the mid-1950s was characterized by a bold palette, heavy, gestural brushstrokes, and almost complete negation of subject matter. Tworkov saw his abstract paintings as independent from extraneous ideas and emotions; rather, he focused solely on aesthetic decisions. Artist and critic Louis Finklestein, writing in 1964, saw Tworkov’s meticulous abstractions as mirroring the artist’s love of freedom and democracy: “[h]is art and his views are decidedly humanistic, in the best sense of democracy being the source of freedom, rejecting all manifestations of ‘aristocratic nihilism.’” It is important to note that at the time of Finklestein’s writing, Abstract Expressionism was being promoted by the American government as a celebration of democratic liberty and individualism in the face of the censorship and governmental control of the arts in the eastern bloc of the Cold War.
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