Mark Tobey

Mark Tobey

"To me an artist is one who....portrays the spirit of man in whatever condition that spirit may be. He can't expect too much of him when the rest is negligent of spiritual values such as today....The development of my work has been I feel more subconscious than conscious. I do not work by intellectual deductions. My work is a kind of self-contained contemplation." --Mark Tobey

"Mark Tobey holds a unique and important position among the artists of the United States and Europe. As a young man Tobey was converted to the Baha'i World Faith, which deeply affected his view of the world. He was later influenced by Oriental thought and aesthetics....In 1958 he received the major prize for painting at the Biennale of Venice and in 1961, the first American to be so honored, he was accorded a compre- hensive retrospectives exhibition in the Pavillon de Marsan of the Louvre in Paris."  -William C. Seitz, Museum of Modern Art, NY.

Mark Tobey’s artistic interests were spiritual as well as formal. Inspired by the Bahai faith and Zen Buddhism, he created a unique visual vocabulary for expressing his conceptual framework. From his travels in Asia and the Middle East, Tobey became fascinated with calligraphy and Arabic script and created a style of painting he called “white writing”. These paintings, which included elements from the real world, are densely packed compositions in which details, rendered in white, swirl in and through ambiguous spaces. 

Mark Tobey is represented in the permanent collections of most of the major art museums throughout the world and was honored with a retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain.

Nightflight | 21" x 16.5" | lithograph 137/150 | 1975

Man Reading | 16" x 12.75" | ink on paper | 1941

Two Figures | 21" x 17"1 | tempera on board | 1950

Market Sketch | 16" x 13" | watercolor on paper | 1942

Coffee Break, Pike Place Market, Seattle | 18" x 14.75" | tempera on paper | 1941

Ballet | 24"x 29" | mixed on paper | 1932

Transformation | 28.75" x 22.25" | lithograph 48/100 | 1974

To Life | 28" x 22" | Etching 94/150 | 1974

Passing | 37" x 29" | lithograph 78/200 | 1970

October | 28" x 36" | lithograph | 1970

Scroll of Liberty | 23" x 34" | lithograph | 1973

Subtile Souvenir | aquatint in colors 38/100 | 29" x 23" | 1974

Message From a Desert Star | 32" x 39" | aquatint in colors 47/96 | 1971

Glowing Fall | 31" x 23" | serigraph | 1975

Sonata | 25" x 29" | serigraph 74/100 | 1975

Awakening Earth | 22" x 19" | aquatint in colors EA 6/8 | 1974

Timeless World | 31" x 25" | serigraph 49/100 | 1974

Divertimento | 23" x 27" | aquatint etching in colors 52/96 | 1971

Thanksgiving Leaf | 22" x 19" | aquatint in colors 83/96 | 1971

On a Holy Day | 22" x 18" | aquatint 8/12 | 1970

The Awakening | 17" x 20" | lithograph 49/200

Apparuit | 32" x 26" | lithograph 3/75 | 1971

The Portal | 27" x 22" | tempera & ink on paper | 1954

Ariel View | 32" x 24" | monotype on paper | 1961

Man in the Market | 13" x 11" | tempera on paper on board | 1966

The Grand Parade | 25" x 20" | Lithograph XXVI/L | 1974

Crowded City | 25" x 20" | Lithograph XXVI/L | 1974

The Woven World | 25" x 32" | Lithograph vii/l | 1973