Mark Tobey "Psaltry-Second Form" - C. 1974
27.75" x 23" Framed
14" x 11" Unframed
Property from the Collection of the Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Florida
Mark Tobey (1890-1976) - Born in Centerville, Wisconsin, Mark Tobey moved to Seattle in 1922. He lived intermittently in Seattle until relocating permanently to Basel, Switzerland, in the 1960s. Tobey studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also studied calligraphy with Kwei Dun (Teng Baiye). Tobey is the most noted artist associated with Seattle in the mid-twentieth century.
His major contribution to water-based mediums came in the late 1930s, when he developed a style of abstraction that used the layering of numerous transparent and opaque brushstrokes within a composition. Initially the lines were part of a figurative composition that highlighted realistic elements, but eventually the technique evolved into an inward type of meditative abstraction that covered the entire composition. The style became known as “white writing.”
In the course of his extensive travels, Tobey developed an interest in many cultures and converted to the Baha’i faith, which reinforced the sense of mysticism in his oeuvre. One of Tobey’s crowning achievements came in 1961, when he became the first American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Pavillon de Marsan at the Louvre in Paris. Tobey is the subject of numerous books and catalogues.
Solo exhibitions include Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, in 1934, 1942, 1959, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1976, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, in 1962, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in 1966, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, TX in 196, and National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, in 1974.