Mark Tobey

American Artist Mark Tobey (1890-1976) is best known for his abstract style of white writing.

In his early career, Tobey worked in fashion illustration in both Chicago and New York.  Later, Tobey joined the faith of Bahai and his work became heavily influenced by his experiences with Zen Buddhism as well as calligraphy and haiku poetry. Tobey began to work with abstraction, focusing on unifying space. His style of white writing overlays light calligraphic writing over an abstract field. It is possible that Tobey’s densely structured calligraphic style paintings, which resemble early abstract expressionism, influenced Jackson Pollack’s drip paintings.