Abstract Expressionism In Mark Tobey's Electric Night

1370 Words 6 Pages
Mark Tobey, a man greatly associated with abstract expressionism and self identity within abstract expressionism, we look into arguably the piece of work that cemented his name within the American art world, Electric Night. Breaking this work down aspect by aspect, visually and conceptually. Exploring his style known as white writing, and influences from the Japanese culture, the Northwest school, and other artist including Jackson Pollock. Finally, looking at what Mark Tobey meant the abstract expressionism movement, and how he encourage this definition of abstraction art in America by creating distinct original modern works. The artwork Electric Night was painted by Mark Tobey in 1944, its 34.2 x 46cm. It was painted on board using …show more content…
Who thought western art was concerned with mass, giving the metaphor if a western artist painted a fish it would be dead, one solid mass, where in eastern art it would be alive represent by a series of linear movements. After one session with Teng, Tobey exclaims, “I came out and I saw a tree and the tree was no longer a solid." This was how Tobey thought of his brush strokes, alive, electric writing now not being controlled by forms. We look at electric night and see the motion and activity of the people and things in the scene, creating this energy, the lines being as dense as they can without forming mass. Essentially Tobey has been able to create a mood and expression without solid form we see in European …show more content…
Simply put the technique was filling the field with multiple layers of linear networks that left no empty space. The lines resembled East Asian calligraphy, as we know he had a background in this, but was also a reversal of the art as traditionally it was black ink on white paper, he used white and dark tonal backgrounds. He did this to create light, and defused the light throughout the scene he painted. A quote from Tobey when asked about this technique is “White lines in movement symbolize light as a unifying idea which flows through the compartmented units of life bringing a dynamic to men 's minds, ever expanding their energies toward a larger

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