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Prairie Red

55 5/8 x 27 3/4 in. (141.3 x 70.5 cm)

Mark Tobey
American (Centerville, WI, 1890 - 1976, Basle, Switzerland)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Tempera on paper
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1969.43
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

Mark Tobey’s observations about his own work are especially eloquent and revealing:

Over the past 15 years, my approach to painting has varied, sometimes being dependent on brushwork, sometimes on lines, dynamic white strokes in geometric space. For me, the road has been a zig-zag into and out of old civilizations, seeking new horizons through meditation and contemplation. My sources of inspiration have gone from those of my native Middle West to those of microscopic worlds. I have discovered many a universe on paving stones and tree barks.

Some critics have criticized me for being what they call an Orientalist and using Oriental models for my work. But they were wrong….What did develop there was what I call the calligraphic impulse that has opened out new horizons for my work. Now I could paint the turmoil and tumult of the great cities, the intertwining of the lights and the streams of people caught up in the mesh of their net.

[Summer 2015]

Artist's signature, lower right: Bale [Basel]/Tobey/64

The artist; Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland; purchased from them by the Gallery in 1969

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It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013

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