Mark Tobey. Pattern of conflict, (1944).

ADC staff
Tremaine Collection / Miller Co. art & design
15 March 2019 | Updated 10 October 2019

Mark Tobey
Pattern of conflict, (1944)
Tempera on board
13 1/2 x 19 in. (34.3 x 48.2 cm)
Acquired 1947 from Willard Gallery
(L01365-69)


The following is an excerpt from: Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. (1948). Painting toward architecture, p. 98. [Essay by Henry-Russell Hitchcock; foreword by Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; introduction by Burton Tremaine; acknowledgements by Emily Hall Tremaine, art director; certain artwork entries by Mary Chalmers Rathbun; graphic design by Bradbury Thompson].

"[Mark Tobey’s] art is infinitely refined in color and delicate in execution— often merely a transparent web of white lines projected in front of a pattern of subtly harmonized tones. His expressive purpose is essentially mystical and... what he has to say to the architect is not direct; he undertakes no conscious research in pure design like Mondrian or Moholy-Nagy. He seems able to bring together abstract form and spiritual content in a visual experience that is above all sensuously appealing to the eye. However, in avoiding the intellectual rigidities of much purely abstract painting, he has not gone to the other extreme of mere decorative prettiness nor does he overweight his pictures with explicit messages. His implied criticism of the contemporary world, expressed in pictures which are themselves ironically pleasing, is carried the deeper into the observer’s consciousness. Similarly, an essentially functional architecture is doubtless more readily acceptable if its lines, colors and forms are not only obviously appropriate to the conditions of modern life, but also visually gratifying." (Mary Chalmers Rathbun)

The current location of Mark Tobey’s Pattern of conflict is unknown.

To learn about Mark Tobey’s Pattern of conflict, (1944), since 1947, click the links below to articles and exhibition compilations with documentation.

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