Mark Tobey (1890-1976) was an American painter known for his densely structured compositions, and being a founder of the Northwest School of painting.

Originally working as a fashion illustrator in NYC (after being educated at the Art Institute of Chicago) Tobey moved to Seattle. On the West Coast he became more interested in spirituality, prompting him to take up painting.

He is credited with founding the Northwest School of painting along with fellow painters Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves. This style was known for it's symbolic representations of nature and soft pastels palettes. Often the subjects and landscapes took on a mystical quality and were centred in the Western Washington area. This school proliferated and garnered wide-spread praise in the 30's and 40's. 

Tobey's work always bordered on completely abstract compared to his Northwest peers. Ultimately, his works came to embrace the Asian influence found in the Northwest style, from which he developed his own iconic style of abstract paintings. 

Tobey's style is best known for its distinct overlay of white or light-colored calligraphic symbols on an abstract field, which is often itself composed of thousands of small and interwoven brush strokes - the term for which he coined "white writing". This style laid the foundation for the "all-over" painting style made famous by Jackson Pollock. Like Pollock, Tobey's works are associated with American abstract expressionism and his symbols are  often compared to asian calligraphy. 

This work is a prime example of Tobey's signature style. The "white writing" symbols are densely interlocked over an entire field of color. The image is intricately beguiling up-close, and vibrates with movement and energy from a-far.  

Mark Tobey's works have gained international attention for their profound influence on the succeeding artists and his unique style. His works can be found in the permanent collections of the MoMA, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Metropolitan Art in NYC; as well as, the Tate in London.

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Signed and numbered in pencil.

From an edition of 150

Etching on BFK Rives

USA, 1974

25.5"H 19.5"W (paper size)

14"H 11"W (image)

Printed by Atelier Rigal, Fontenay Aux Roses, France.

Published by Transworld Art

Very good condition

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