Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Abstract Expressionists commemorative stamps.

 The function of the artists is to express reality as felt.
When I was a kid, I used to collect stamps from all the countries where I lived (Navy brat and all that). Later, I collected stamps that featured reproductions of art; somewhere I probably still have an album of Japanese stamps with images from Japanese woodcuts AND a sheet of French stamps which Matisse images. But I got out of the habit when prices went up and I turned to other pursuits. But this gorgeous sheet of images from abstract expressionist artists just might reawaken my stamp lust!

In celebration of the abstract expressionist artists of the 20th Century, Art Director Ethel Kessler and noted Art Historian Jonathan Fineberg (Gutgsell Professor Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign) selected ten paintings to feature on this colorful pane of self–adhesive stamps. Kessler used elements from Barnett Newman’s Achilles (1952) to frame the stamps. The arrangement of the stamps suggests paintings hanging on a gallery wall. For design purposes, the sizes of the stamp are not in relative proportion to the paintings. The pane also features selvage text and a quotation by Robert Motherwell. Each stamp includes the artist’s name and verso text that identifies the painting and briefly tells something about the artist.

List of Stamp Artwork

  • The Golden Wall (1961) — Hans Hofmann (1880–1966)
  • Romanesque Façade (1949) — Adolph Gottlieb (1903–1974)
  • Orange and Yellow (1956) — Mark Rothko (1903–1970)
  • The Liver Is the Cock’s Comb (1944) — Arshile Gorky (1904–1948)
  • 1948–C (1948) — Clyfford Still (1904–1980)
  • Asheville (1948) — Willem de Kooning (1904–1997)
  • Achilles (1952) — Barnett Newman (1905–1970)
  • Convergence (1952) — Jackson Pollock (1912–1956)
  • Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34 (1953–1954) — Robert Motherwell (1915–1991)
  • La Grande Vallée 0 (1983) — Joan Mitchell (1925–1992)


dargie said...

Have you and I ever discussed Donald Evans and other designers of faux postage stamps? It's just another facet of postal art, and one that I find quite wonderful.

Zoomie said...

I'll look for those - reads like a who's who of abstract expressionism.

namastenancy said...

Dargie - YOU turned me on to Donald Evans and your faux postage for your imaginary country is right up there with the best designed stamps that I ever saw.

Zoomie - I've pre-ordered a sheet. I keep saying that I am going to have some of my stamp collector sheets framed but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The Matisse Sheet, the Cocteau Sheet and this one would make a handsome trio for my hallway.

Anonymous said...

Oh of course! How silly of me to forget.

A Cuban In London said...

'to express reality as felt.'

That second part of your quote was the reason why I finally succumbed to Pollock in my early thirties (yes, I know, it took me some time, plus a film with one of my favourite actors ever, Ed Harris). When you feel it, I have the option to feel it, too, or not. But if you try to make me feel it, then you're manipulating me, and all you'll see is a cloud of dust as I run away.

Cracking post. I personally prefer impressionism and surrealism, so I'm still finding my feet within the abstract world.

I laughed at the comment you left me because for five years I worked at an arts centre as a project manager and marketing and publicity coordinator. The centre sank because it did not fit the purpose for which it was built, that is, showcasing art. I was privileged enough (and yes, I'm blowing my own trumpet here) to coordinate some of the more fantastic shows we had, but had to always seek external financial backing as I never got given a budget by my superiors. So, it's a similar case to the one you described in your comment. Many thanks for your contribution.

Greetings from London.

James Mitchell said...

No Franz Kline, no deal.

namastenancy said...

Yes, it's strange that the Post Office didn't include Kline. His work is so graphic that you'd think it would show up very well on a tiny stamp. But who knows how they came to their final decision.