Mark Tobey

Mark Tobey

Mark Tobey was born in Midwest in the USA in 1890, where he spent most of his childhood. He was already aware of his passion and aptitude to drawing in his early youth and tested himself copying magazine covers and drawing portraits to illustrate catalogues with. In 1911 he left Chicago to move to Greenwhich Village in New York, being determined to become a fashion designer. In the next ten years his talent was progressively acknowledged and he became accomplished painter: as a matter of fact, he depicted several personalities of that time. From 1920 to 1940 he ventured on several trips to the East, reaching China first and then moving to Japan, where he spent a whole month at a Zen monastery. He finally got to the Middle East where he could get access to Bahà’ì sanctuaries. He went back to England, then to the United States, where some important exhibitions took place. In 1958 Mark Tobey was awarded the first prize at Biennial of Venice. In 1961 Louvres dedicated to him a personal exhibition of 300 works. Tobey was the first non-French artist to be accommodated in such a prestigious seat. In 1974 at the ‘National Collection of Fine Arts’ in Washington, a part of the ‘Smithsonian Institution’, it was held an exhibition entitled “ Homage to Mark Tobey” and displayed about 70 works. Mark Tobey died in Basel in 1976, after being appreciated much more in Europe than in his native America.

Artworks