Stanley Twardowicz (1917–2008), a one-time orphan, Golden Gloves boxer, professional baseball player and auto worker, emerged from a hardscrabble upbringing in Detroit to become a popular and improbable denizen of New York’s Cedar Tavern, the flash pan of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s. He landed on the cover of Art in America’s “New Talent Annual, 1958.” It was one highlight of an impressive run that included a 1956 Guggenheim Fellowship, group shows at the Whitney and Guggenheim museums, The Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, and The Museum of Modern Art. The latter trumpeted its acquisition of a Twardowicz canvas in 1956 and later bought six of his photographs. His works are in the collection of numerous American institutions including, The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Newark Museum, NJ; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., and others.
Twardowicz was the subject of a monographic exhibition at Hirschl & Adler Modern in 2012 entitled Stanley Twardowicz in the 1950s and 1960s, and an Art Kabinett at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2015.