Mark Tobey’s distinctive approach to abstract painting brought him great acclaim and considerable success in the middle decades of the twentieth century. A Bahá’í from the age of twenty-eight, Tobey was an inveterate experimenter and a foresighted world citizen. His major contribution to modern art was his so-called “white writing” style that emerged after decades of experimentation and deep reflection.
In tracing the influences on Tobey’s development, Robert Weinberg will demonstrate that Tobey’s breakthrough was the result of a deep knowledge of the art of the past and diverse cultures, and his desire to convey Bahá’í spirituality through his work. His influence on his contemporaries—ranging from Jackson Pollock to the St Ives school in Cornwall—has not yet been fully acknowledged.