Moeller Fine Art is pleased to announce the first exhibition in Berlin devoted to the work of Mark Tobey (1890–1976). This show covers the years 1945-1970 and provides an overarching impression of one of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism. The fifteen works on view illustrate the artist’s mastery of various techniques as well as the rich nuances of his visual language. The exhibition will open for Gallery Weekend Berlin on April 29 from 4 to 9pm and continue until July 30.
Beginning in the 1940s, Mark Tobey’s work was characterized by a fine web of white or bright lines on a dark background, forming a vibrating “all over” structure. These works, which at first seem entirely abstract, gradually reveal their close link to nature. “I like best to see in nature what I want in my painting. When we can find the abstract in nature we find the deepest art.”
In his own unmistakable manner, Tobey combines the visual traditions and techniques of West and East. The initially abstract quality of his works is greatly influenced by an intense engagement with East Asian art and spirituality. His travels through China and Japan in the 1930s, were of key importance to this artistic journey: “It was there that I got what I call the calligraphic impulse to carry my work on into some new dimensions . . . With this method I found that I could paint the frenetic rhythms of the modern city, the interweaving lights and the streams of people who are entangled in the mesh of this net.” In the late 1930s, Tobey developed a style of “white writing” that came to epitomize his work, as in Pisces Borealis, 1950 and A Little Piece of Magic or Nothing, 1959.
Mark Tobey was born in Centerville, Wisconsin in 1890, and studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After spending periods at both the Cornish School and Seattle’s Free and Creative Art School (which he co-founded), he worked intermittently from 1931 to 1937 at Dartington Hall in England. A 1944 exhibition at the Willard Gallery in New York proved decisive for Tobey's career, at last bringing him acclaim from the public and critics alike. At this time he also developed a close friendship with the American-German artist Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956). Aerial City, 1950, included in the exhibition, was part of Feininger’s private collection. After his initial success, Tobey’s work was honored in numerous exhibitions, including a 1961 exhibition at Musée des Arts décoratifs in the Paris Louvre and a 1962 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Tobey then took part in Documenta 2 and 3, and was represented several times at the Venice Biennale, winning the International Painting Prize in 1958. In 1960, he moved to Basel, where he lived and worked until his death in 1976.
For more information on Mark Tobey and his work, you can contact us at +49 30 252 940 83 or by email at [email protected]. The gallery is located on Tempelhofer Ufer 11 in Berlin-Kreuzberg. As part of Gallery Weekend, Moeller Fine Art will be open on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1 from 11 am to 7 pm. Our regular opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm. The nearest subway stations are Hallesches Tor (U6) and Möckernbrücke (U7 and U1).
Achim Moeller oversees the Mark Tobey Project LLC, which provides certificates of authenticity, exhibition consultation and research related to the artist. The Mark Tobey Project LLC also draws on the extensive archives of Paul Cummings, the longtime scholar of the artist’s work, which have been actively maintained by Achim Moeller for many years. Collectors, museums, and galleries that own or have owned works by the artist are invited to register their works by contacting:
The Mark Tobey Project LLC
Attn: Achim Moeller
36 East 64th Street
New York, NY 10065
T. +1 212 644 1717
F. +1 212 644 2134