Images © Estate of George Tooker
To really appreciate and marvel at George Tooker's world and his work you really have to see the book
George Tooker (Book)
by Thomas H. Garver (pictured right).
This is the book I stumbled across years ago and fell in love with the poetic, magical realism of George Tooker. Back then, here in the UK it was difficult to get anything on Tooker so this book was like finding the Holy Grail.
I still thumb through my now old, tatty copy and always find something to marvel at. The figures, the faces, art found in everyday life ... the world of Tooker is all here in this book. Well almost all as there are 150 paintings reproduced and for someone who works as slowly as George that is a substantial part of his oeuvre. But if you marvel at the detail you realise why he works so slowly - it's just incredible to behold.
I am envious of Americans who can pop into a museum and see one of his works in the flesh anytime they like. Here in the UK this book has to suffice.
It's quite a big size (11 x 10 inches) so the reproductions still have some of the power of the originals. It contains over 150 paintings.
I don't think it would be exaggerating to say that Tooker belongs in terms of importance to American art in the same category as Hopper or Wyeth. In particularly, his haunting vision of alienation and anonymity of urban life is as visionary as Hoper at his finest. Of course working in egg tempera helped with the luminous quality but required amazingly meticulous application. Below are examples of the magical realism of George Tooker.
Credit: many of these images are from the DC Moore Gallery. Their website and more info. on the artist can be viewed here
Landscape with Figures, 1965-66
Government Bureau, 1956
The Subway, 1950
Embrace IV, 1984
Waiting Room, 1957
In the Summerhouse, 1957 - 1959
The Table II, 1981
Un Ballo en Maschera, 1983
Girl Reading, 2003
Dark Angel, 1996
The Dream, 1991
Window XI, 1999
George Tooker By Thomas H. Garver Book
Old Tooker Website
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