Saturday, July 05, 2008

Mark Tobey

Composition in Yellow and Blue
watercolour 25 x 35cm
signed lower right "Tobey '50"
Click to enlarge.

10 July 2008

Mark Tobey was born in 1890 and raised in the midwest of the USA, he had little art training. After moving to Seattle, Washington he delved into works of Arabian literature and teachings of East Asian philosophy and with his conversion led him to explore the representation of the spiritual in art.

"White lines in movement symbolize light as a unifying idea which flows through the compartmented units of life bringing a dynamic to men's minds, ever expanding their energies toward a larger relativity." (quoted in Palace of Legion of Honor catalog, 1951)

"I am accused often of too much experimentation, but what else should I do when all other factors of man are in the same condition? Shall any member of the body live independently of the rest? I thrust forward into space as science and the rest do. My activity is the same, therefore my end will be similar. “

"New seeds are no doubt being sown which mean new civilizations and, let us hope, cultures too. If I do anything important in painting some age will bring it forth and understand. One naturally looks forward to the time when absolutes will reign no more and all art will be seen as valid, with many thanks to Picasso and the brave men of European painting and to those who have fostered such ideas in this country. Shall we, as we view the increasingly darkening sky, not hope for a Byzantium, some spot to keep alight the cultural values? For what else shall we live?" (statement by the artist, Portland/SF/Detroit catalog, 1945-46)


"Mark Tobey: The world of a Market"
University of Washington Press, Seattle (1964)

"Retrospective Mark Tobey : Exposition Palais Du Louvre"
Pavillon De Marsan 1961


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