New York Noir: Remembering The High Anxiety Art Of George Tooker


editorial_tooker-articleLargeThere’s not a trace of funny, Mel Brooksian anxiety in the works of George Tooker but few 20th century painters captured the alienation  of modern city life better than Tooker.

“These are powerful pictures that will stay in the public consciousness. Everyone can say, ‘Yes, I’ve been in that facelessimage situation,’ even if it’s just standing in line waiting to apply for a driver’s license.”–Thomas Garver

Via NY Times obit

George Tooker: 1920-2011

“George Tooker, a painter whose haunting images of trapped clerical workers and forbidding government offices expressed a peculiarly 20th-century brand of anxiety and alienation, died on Sunday (March 27, 2011)  at his home in Hartland, Vt. He was 90.

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 »The cause was complications of kidney failure, Edward De Luca, director of the D C Moore Gallery in Manhattan, said.

Mr. Tooker, often called a 000090a0_medium 000090a3_medium 0000909f_medium 000090ab_medium 000090ae_mediumsymbolic, or magic, realist, worked well outside the critical mainstream for much of his career, relegated to the margins by the rise of abstraction. As doctrinaire modernism loosened its hold in the 1980s, however, he was rediscovered by a younger generation of artists, critics and curators, who embraced him as one of the most distinctive and mysterious American painters of the 20th century.”–NY Times