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Mark Tobey

By admin 25 February 2013 11460 Views No comments

Born in Centerville (Wisconsin, U.S.A.) in 1890, he died in Basel (Switzerland) in 1976. Received little formal training in art apart from a few lessons at the Art Institute of Chicago. Worked for some years in New York as fashion illustrator, interior decorator and portrait draughtsman, experimenting with fantastic drawings for his own satisfaction. First one-man exhibition of portraits at the Knoedler Gallery, New York, 1917. Became a lifelong adherent to the Baha'i World Faith in 1918. Lived in Seattle, on the West Coast, 1922-30, apart from 1925-6 in Europe, followed by 1930-8 mainly in England, at Dartington Hall in Devonshire. Also travelled to Mexico and the Near East, and in 1934-5 to China, where he spent a month in a Zen monastery. Began to develop his "white writing" in 1934-5. Returned to the USA in 1938, settling in Seattle. Made a number of works inspired by Seattle's open-air market, followed by many with all-over abstract brushwork or dynamic white lines. Received growing recognition from 1944, including the City of Venice painting prize at the 1958 Venice Biennale and First Prize for Painting at the 1961 Pittsburgh International. During the 60s he worked for Fucina degli Angeli. Spent his last years from 1960 at Basel in Switzerland, where he died.

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