Mark Tobey in Seattle (1921-1925) and the Pacific Northwest School

Here we are for our weekly appointment with Mark Tobey.
The years between 1921 and 1925 were full of important events and meetings with other artists.
First, I have to say that Tobey married in 1921, but the marriage lasted only one year, and ended in a divorce.
Said that, from 1922 to 1925 he taught art at the Cornish School in Seattle.


by Morris Graves
Pacific Northwest School

The Pacific Northwest School was an art movement based in a small-town, Skagit Country - Washington, and in the Seattle area.
The early participants, known as "the big four", were Mark Tobey, Guy Anderson, Morris Graves, and Kenneth Callahan. Their work became recognized nationally in 1953, when Life magazine published  a feature article on them.
That movement used natural elements combined with Asian aesthetic elements.
The Northwest artists were labeled as mystics, although some denied this label. But surelly Tobey was a mystic,in the way an artist could be it. The influence of the Bahá'í Faith is a fact, and also his interest in Asian culture and Eastern aesthetics.

On SAM website (Seattle Art Museum) are showed many Northwest Pacific collections.


On Chinese American Eyes

Teng Kwei


In 1922 Mark Tobey met Teng Kwei, a Chinese painter and student at the University of Washington.
Kwei introduced Tobey to Eastern penmanship, and to East Asian painting and spirituality. So Tobey began to work on the Chinese calligraphy.











Emily Carr

We can not avoid talking about the meeting between Tobey and Emily Carr.
She was a Canadian artist and writer. Carr born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1871.She attended the San Francisco Art Institute for two years (1890–1892) before returning to Victoria.
In 1895 she teached at the Ladies Art Club (Vancouver), but she was unpopular amongst her students due to her rude behaviour of smoking and cursing at them in class.
Carr travelled to London, Paris, and many States in America.

Mark Tobey helped her at a crucial point of her career, expanded her artist horizons. Tobey encouraged her to revisit her art, focusing on drawing and forms. Then Carr began exploring the relationship between the natural enviroment and totemic forms.


on Art Country of Canada
In 1927 Carr met members of the Group of Seven, at that time Canada's most recognized modern painters.
She exhibited in 1924 and 1925 at the Artists of the Pacific Northwest shows in Seattle.
Her first solo show was held in eastern Canada in 1935 at the Women's Art Association of Canada in Toronto.

The Vancouver School of Art, established in 1925 as Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, was named Emily Carr Institute  of Art and Design in 1978, and lately as Emily Carr University of Art and Design.


 

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