is an American painter born in Brooklyn
in 1920, and currently residing on Long Island
. He first studied English
literature at Harvard University
, before changing to study art
at the Art Students League
in New York
. As a youth he was also involved in a few socialist organisations, although he also unsuccessfully attempted to enlist as a marine
in World War Two
George Tooker is best known for his magic realist paitings, where grim everyday scenes of reality are infused with sinister, surrealist overtones, reflecting the unease that alienation, spiritual poverty and fear that came with urban life in the Cold War era. The belly of America's underclass come out in George Tookers' works as deindividualised, shapeless figures with weary or anxious faces, painted in dull primary colours. They uncomfortably inhabit nightmarishly claustophobic worlds of repeated elements and unusually distant vanishing points.
Some of George Tooker's most famous works include The Subway, Government Bureau, The Waiting Room, Landscape with Figures, Corporate Decision, and recently, Terminal. Most of his best works were executed with egg tempera.