Lot 105
  • 105

Mark Tobey

200,000 - 300,000 EUR
1,389,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Mark Tobey
  • Autumnal fire
  • signed and dated 65
  • tempera on paper laid down on board 


Galerie Beyeler, Basel
Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne
Private Collection, Europe


Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Mark Tobey, January - March 1966
Hanover, Kestnergesellschaft, Mark Tobey, 19 May - 26 June 1966; catalogue, no. 121
Dallas, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Mark Tobey Retrospective, 20 March - 21 April 1968 
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Tobey, 80th Birthday, December 1970 - February 1971
Lausanne, Galerie Alice Pauli, M. Tobey: Pour un centenaire, 12 December 1990 - 16 February 1991
Saint-Etienne, Musée d'Art Moderne, Entre la sérinité et l'inquiétude, 19 November 1993 - 31 January 1994

Catalogue Note

Blending Abstract Expressionism, Chinese calligraphy, Zen painting, Arabic and Persian writing, Mark Tobey’s work draws upon traditions that are as ancient as they are esoteric, universal and ecumenical. Throughout his career, Tobey sought in pure abstraction a means of communicating his beliefs to the world. Converted to the Bahaï religion, born from the Messianic Shiite movement in Iran in the 19th century according to which man realises himself through respect for goodness, justice and love, Mark Tobey continuously explored the representation of the spiritual in art.

Between Chicago, New York, Paris, Constantinople, Beirut, Haïfa, Kyoto, Hong Kong… he travelled the world not only to visit the prestigious international art institutions which presented his work but also to nourish and enrich his practice. He thus developed a unique style within the artistic scene of his period. Through singular compositions in which white writing dances against enigmatic backgrounds in dense and saturated colours, Tobey created all-over spaces in which the gaze is lost. Vibrant, rhythmic, luminous and suggestive, Autumnal Fire is thus emblematic of the metaphysical quest of a man who endorsed the harmony between nature and humanity. All the internal sensibility of this artist can be found in this work, inviting contemplation and meditation.