Mark Tobey

Born in 1890 - United States


Mark Tobey (1870-1976) is an American abstract painter, known as "the old master of young American painting". His studies in Chinese calligraphy and Zen painting take him towards meditative painting, through a swarm of signs. A former student of the Chicago Art Institute, he moved to New York and worked there as a portraitist and fashion designer. An eternal wanderer, he traveled around France, Catalonia, Greece, Beirut, Constantinople, Haifa...where he developed a passion for Arabic and Persian scriptures.

His encounter with the Chinese painter Teng Kuei took him towards calligraphy art. His travels also influence his creations, as it happens when he moved to England in 1935, he opted for white writing. According to the critics, « Broadway », « Welcome Hero », « Broadway Norm », have an influence on the artist, Jackson Pollock.

He presented his first exhibition in 1917 at the Knoedler gallery. In 1929, Alfred Barr displayed his work at the MOMA, New York and in 1958 Seattle Art Museum devoted him a retrospective. He exhibited in the most prestigious places in the world like Musée des arts décoratifs in Paris, Fine Arts museum in San Francisco, Guggenheim Museum in New York and many other galleries in USA. He won many awards during his career « Guggenheim International Award » in 1956, great painting prize at the Biennial in Venice, first prize at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. He signed a fresco at the national library in Washington.

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