Calligraphic paintings Mark Tobey

Mark Tobey was an American painter whose dense, calligraphic paintings in the “all over” style—later championed by Jackson Pollock—secured his reputation as a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. Working in practice that was more contemplative than most of his peers, he once observed, “I believe that painting should come through the avenues of meditation rather than the canals of action.” He was born on December 11, 1890 in Centerville, WI and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1906 to 1908, later converting to the Bahá'í faith and travelling the world. This included a sojourn in Kyoto, where he visited a cloister and studied Zen painting, haiku poetry, and calligraphy, influencing his signature style of so-called "white writing,” where he overlaid white or light-colored calligraphic symbols on an abstract field. In 1951, the artist had a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York, with the show then travelling on to San Francisco, Seattle, and Santa Barbara, securing Tobey’s international renowned style. Tobey has also been the subject of retrospectives at the Smithsonian Museum and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum Folkwang in Essen, and the Foundation Beyeler in Basel. He died on April 24, 1976 in Basel, Switzerland..(

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