Skip to main content

Tooker, George

George Tooker (George Clair Tooker, Jr.), 1920–2011, American painter, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., grad. Harvard (A.B., 1942), studied (1943–45) Art Students League, New York City, with Reginald Marsh. Part of the postwar magic realist movement, Tooker portrays a surrealist-tinged modern reality that often is marked by a sense of mystery, dread, and alienation. His tableaux, which are inhabited by isolated, still, bulky, sculpturally modeled people with round, masklike faces, usually are painted with egg tempera on gessoed panels, giving them a unique luminosity. In The Subway (1950), a frightened woman in a prisonlike subway station is surrounded by ominously anonymous figures (Whitney Mus., New York City); in Government Bureau (1956), figures stand and wait before bureaucrats seated in cubicles with frosted glass screens that obscure all but a small circle of their faces (Metropolitan Mus., New York City). A figurative artist when abstraction was ascendant, Tooker was rediscovered in the 1980s and has been particularly influential in the early 21st cent.

See biographical and critical study by T. H. Garver (rev. ed. 2008).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tooker, George." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 20 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Tooker, George." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (September 20, 2019).

"Tooker, George." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.