Theodoros Stamos

American, 1922 - 1997

Theodoros Stamos, born on December 31, 1922 – February 2, 1997, was one of the youngest painters of the original group of abstract expressionist painters (the so-called "Irascibles"), which included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko.

Stamos was one of the original and youngest Abstract Expressionist artists working in New York City in the 1940's and 50's. He was born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to Greek immigrant parents in 1922. As a teenager, he won a scholarship to the American Artists School where he studied sculpture with Simon Kennedy and Joseph Konzal.

Stamos traveled widely during much of his adult life. In 1947, he trained to New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest. In 1948 and 49, he visited Europe, including parts of Greece, and possibly Egypt. These and many other trips over the next 40 years both contributed to his aesthetic development and also provided fodder for his broad, deep intellectual interest in the world’s belief systems.

Beginning in 1962, he created several long series of paintings; many of these contained sub-series. The Sun-Box series, begun in 1962, explored hard-edged geometries on flat grounds.

After 1971, all of his paintings were part of the Infinity Field series. These abstractions are characterized by broad areas of color delineated by slim lines or shapes; the effect is subtle and meditative. Among the Infinity Fields are the Lefkada sub-series, inspired by the Greek island where Stamos spent much of his time from 1970 until his death in 1997.

He taught at Black Mountain College from 1950 until 1954, and from 1955 to 1975 at the Art Students League of New York and the Cummington School of Fine Arts. Stamos was also a member of the Uptown Group. A year before his death he donated 43 of his works to the National Gallery of Greece. He is buried in Lefkas, Greece.

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