Mark Tobey (1890-1976) was an American artist often regarded as a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. He is most famous for his so-called white writing, an overlay of white or light-colored calligraphic symbols on an abstract field, often composed of thousands of small, interwoven brushstrokes. This method gave rise to the type of all-over painting style made most famous by Jackson Pollock.
In 1944, Tobey had his first solo exhibition at the Willard Gallery in New York, and then, in 1951, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This exhibition led to his international success. In 1960, he returned to the United States and settled in Seattle, before moving to Basel, Switzerland, where he lived until his death in 1976. His work can be found in most major museum collections in the United States and internationally, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.