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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Electric Night

Photo: Paul Macapia

Electric Night


Mark Tobey

born Centerville, Wisconsin, 1890; died Basel, Switzerland, 1976

Tempera on paperboard
17 1/2 x 13 in. (44.5 x 33 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Provenance: Purchased from the artist, 1944
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, Willard Gallery, Mark Tobey, 1944.

Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Paintings by Mark Tobey, 1945 (San Francisco, California Museum of Art, 1945; Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1946).

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, 14 Americans, 1946.

San Francisco, California, San Francisco Museum of Art, special exhibition in conjunction with the Western Round Table on Modern Art, Apr. 8-10, 1949.

Western Association of Art Museum Directors, Trio, 1950-1951 (San Francisco, California, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1950; Tacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art League, 1950; Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum, 1950; Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, 1950; Vancouver, British Columbia, University of British Columbia, 1951; Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1951; Victoria, British Columbia, Art Center of Greater Victoria, 1951).

Bloomington, Illinois, Withers Public Library, Northwest Artists, 1951.

San Francisco, California, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Retrospective Exhibition Of Paintings by Mark Tobey, Mar. 31-May 6, 1951 (Seattle, Washington, Henry Gallery, University of Washington, May 20-June 27, 1951; Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Aug. 16-Sept. 9, 1951; New York, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Oct. 4-Nov. 4, 1951).

Anchorage, Alaska, Anchorage, Seattle Area Artists and Craftsmen, 1952.

Houston, Texas, Contemporary Arts Association, Marin, Tobey, Graves, 1956.

The American Federation of Arts for the United States Information Agency, American Painting 1900-1955, 1956 (Travelled to Europe).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, in cooperation with The United States Information Agency, An Exhibit of Eight American Artists, Painting and Sculpture, Jan. 10 - Feb. 3, 1957 (Copenhagen, Denmark; Frankfurt, Germany; Berlin, Germany; Nuremburg, Germany; Munich, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Essen, Germany; London, England, Institute of Contemporary Art, Nov. 8 - Dec. 7, 1957; York, England; Bordeaux, France; Paris, France; St. Etienne, France 1957-58).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Mark Tobey: A Retrospective Exhibition From Northwest Collections, Sept. 11 - Nov. 1, 1959 (Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Dec. 1959 - Jan. 1960; Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Jan. - February 1960; Pasadena, California, Pasadena Art Museum, Feb. - Mar.1960; San Francisco, California, M. H. DeYoung Memorial Museum, Mar. - April 1960). Cat. no. 96.

Paris, France, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Pavillon de Marsan, Rétrospective Mark Tobey, Oct. 18 - Dec.1, 1961. Cat. no. 41, not reproduced. (London, England, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, Retrospective Exhibition Mark Tobey, Jan. 31 - Mar.4, 1962, Cat. no. 28, not reproduced; Brussels, Belgium, Palais des Beaux Arts, Oct. 18-[closing date not recorded], 1962).

New York, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Mark Tobey, Sept. 12 - Nov. 4, 1962 (Cleveland, Ohio, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Dec. 11, 1962 - Jan.13, 1963; Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 22 - Mar. 24,1963). Text by William C. Seitz. Cat. no. 35, not reproduced.

Chicago, Illinois, The Arts Club of Chicago, The Crowd: An Exhibition of Sculpture, Painting and Graphics, Oct. 28-Nov. 29, 1969. Cat no. 41, n.p., reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Tobey's 80: A Retrospective Exhibition From Northwest Collections, Dec. 3, 1970 - Jan. 31, 1971. Text by Betty Bowen. Cat. no. 50, reproduced n.p.

Washington, D.C., National Collection of Fine Arts, Tribute to Mark Tobey, June 7 - Sept. 8, 1974 (Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, 1974; St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis Art Museum, 1974). Text by Joshua C. Taylor. Cat. no. 6, reproduced.

Miami, Florida, The Art Gallery, Miami-Dade Community College, Mark Tobey 1930-1967: A Selection Of Work From The Seattle Art Museum, Dec. 1, 1975 - Jan. 29, 1976. Text by Willis F. Woods. Cat. no. 23, reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Northwest Traditions, June 29 - Dec. 10, 1978 (Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center, Mar. 19 - April 29, 1979). Text by Martha Kingsbury. No cat. no., p. 52, reproduced.

Kobe, Japan, Washington State Pavilion at Portopia '81, The Kobe Port Island Exposition, Exhibit Of Washington State Artists, Mar. 20-Sept. 21, 1981.

Osaka, Japan, The National Museum of Art, Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan, Oct. 2 - Nov. 28, 1982 (Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum).

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Mark Tobey: City Paintings, Mar. 18 - June 17, 1984. Text by Eliza E. Rathbone. Cat no. 22, p. 36, reproduced p. 9, also reproduced pl. 2.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Views and Visions In The Pacific Northwest, June 7 - Sept. 2, 1990. No catalogue.

Geneva, Switzerland, Musée d'art et d'histoire, 1945 or The Figures of Freedom: Artistic Expressions of the Immediate Period After World War II, Oct. 26 - Nov. 7, 1996.

Bellevue, Washington, Bellevue Art Museum, Luminous: Light as Material, Medium and Metaphor, Dec. 4, 2000 - June 30, 2001.

Seattle,Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Night Sounds: Nocturnal Visions of Mark Tobey and Morris Graves - A Northwest Summer, May 4, 2006 - Oct. 15, 2006.

Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969, Feb.11 - May 6, 2012. Text by Julie Joyce, et al. No cat. no., p. 87, reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum. Modernism in the Pacific Northwest; The Mythic and the Mystical, June 19 - Sept. 7, 2014. Text by Patricia Junker. No cat. no., p. 12, reproduced p. 14, pl. 4.
Published ReferencesKingsbury, Martha and Sarah Clark. "Northwest Traditions." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1978, p. 52

Johns, Barbara. Modern Art from the Pacific Northwest in the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Musuem, 1990; no. 11, pp. 14-15.

Kangas, Matthew. J. Steensma: A Retrospective. Exh. cat. Seattle: Center on Contemporary Art, 1997; p. 13.

Kornhauser, Elizabeth Mankin, American Moderns on Paper: Masterworks of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010; p. 189, reproduced fig. I.

Kangas, Matthew, Burning Fores: The Art of Maria Frank Abrams. La Conner, Washington, The Museum of Northwest Art, 2010; p. 57, reproduced fig. 44.

Lederman, Marsha. "How painter Mark Tobey changed the course of modern art in the Pacific Northwest," The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, July 1, 2014: reproduced.

"Selected Works." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1991, p. 120

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