Some of the best-known modern painters in the American Northwest, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson have been called the leaders of a “Northwest School” since the 1940s. But a detailed investigation of their interactions from 1930 to 1954 shows the perception of these four artists as a cohesive group to be a myth. Northwest Mythologies offers a new analysis of their interactions and accomplishments and places their art and ideologies in the larger context of American modernism.
Constructing a chronology from letters, interviews, and new analyses of their works, Northwest Mythologies reexamines the careers and complex friendships of Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson and explores their different understandings of what it meant to be an artist. This book is the first study of the four painters to finely articulate their differences and achievements, and its presents a new view on their place in American art.
Published in conjunction with the exhibition Northwest Mythologies: The Interactions of Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson, organized by Tacoma Art Museum May 3 to August 10, 2003.