Mark Tobey

1890 - 1976


signed print 48x32

U.S. painter; in 1960 he settled in Switzerland. The main formative influence upon his painting was his visit (1934-5), with the British potter Bernard Leach, to China and Japan, where he spent some time in a Zen monastery.
His technique in the 1940s (sometimes called 'white writing') bore a formal resemblance to oriental calligraphy, but more important was his intention to create, like Rothko, abstract images for meditation. One of the most subtle of U.S. abstractionists, Tobey compounded a delicate style out of Klee's discoveries and Chinese calligraphy.