Mark Tobey

Born in Centerville (Wisconsin, U.S.A.) in 1890, died in Basel (Switzerland) in 1976.
He received little formal training in art aside from a few classes at the Art Institute of Chicago.
He worked for a few years in New York as a fashion illustrator, interior decorator and portraitist, experimenting with fantastic designs for his own satisfaction.
His first solo portrait exhibition was at Knoedler Gallery, New York, 1917.
Tobey became a lifelong adherent to the Baha'i World Faith in 1918. Lived in Seattle, West Coast, 1922-30, apart from 1925 -6 in Europe, followed by 1930-8 mainly in England, at Dartington Hall in Devonshire.
He also traveled to Mexico and the Near East and in 1934-5 to China, where he spent a month in a Zen monastery. He began developing his "white writing" in 1934-5. Returning to the United States in 1938, he settled in Seattle. He has done a series of works inspired by the Seattle open-air market, followed by many with all-over abstract brushstrokes or dynamic white lines.
Mark has received increasing recognition since 1944, including the City of Venice Painting Prize at the 1958 Venice Biennale and the First Prize for Painting at the 1961 Pittsburgh International.
In the 1960s he worked for Fucina degli Angeli.
He spent his last years from 1960 in Basel in Switzerland, where he died.

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