Label Text: The vitality and rhythm of Tobey’s "white writing"move the viewer’s eye across the composition. Tobey had a passionate conviction concerning the significance of space, of the void—not as a vacuum, but as something filled or charged with energy. What first seems like a decorative screen, becomes, up close, a battleground of forces which extend beyond the painting.
Tobey was a pioneer abstractionist who lived far from New York’s art scene in the Pacific Northwest. His introspective, meditative works are influenced by the Bahá’í faith and his study of Zen Buddhism. The “white writing” paintings and prints, with their signature networks of fine white lines, were inspired by Tobey’s experiments with Chinese calligraphy.