Friday, March 12, 2010

Abstract Expressionists

In celebration of the abstract expressionist artists of the 20th century, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued on March 11, 2010 a 44–cent, Abstract Expressionists commemorative stamp in ten designs, designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland.

Art Director Ethel Kessler and noted Art Historian Jonathan Fineberg (Gutgsell Professor Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign) selected ten paintings to be included on this pane of self–adhesive stamps. Kessler used elements from Barnett Newman’s Achilles (1952) to frame the stamps.

The stamps were arranged in a manner to suggest 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 of the stamps include the name of the artist and verso text that identifies the painting and briefly tells something about the artist.

The list of stamp artworks are:
  • 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)

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