Echoes of Broadway


Mark Tobey ( American, 1890 - 1976 )

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General Description

Small in scale but exploding with the energy and vitality of the city, Echoes of Broadway is an excellent example of Mark Tobey's use of 'white writing' as a formal device, revealing the dynamic force of light. An intricate network of fine white lines, flowing but controlled, moves forward and backward in a sensuous field of blue; thick, short, white lines create surface tension and depth. Here Tobey captures the congestion and complexity of city life. The viewer is looking at the lights of the city at once from above and on the streets, experiencing its pulsating energy. Since he first saw the crowded streets of Hong Kong and Shanghai, the interconnection and interdependency of urban life was an important theme for Tobey, who found the city to be a vital, living organism. This work reflects Tobey's gracefully blended Eastern and Western beliefs and values, as well as deep commitment to the Bahai' World Faith, which emphasizes the unity of all creation, and seeks to join the physical and spiritual worlds.

Adapted from

Suzanne Weaver, "Echoes of Broadway," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Charles Venable (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1997), 278.