Theodoros Stamos American, 1922-1997


Theodoros Stamos is notable for his early use of color to explore possibilities of abstraction and form in painting. Youngest of the first generation of Abstract Expressionist painters and youngest member of the “Irascibles,” the vanguard group of American artists memorialized in Nina Leen’s 1950 photograph, Stamos developed an expressive color field process (Color Field Painting) or Post-Painterly Abstraction as Clement Greenberg referenced this painting style. Stamos, a major contributor to the Color Field Movement, was once quoted as saying:


“…my feeling was to create more infinity with color…”


Born in 1922 to Greek immigrant parents on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Stamos began his formal study of art in 1936 with a scholarship to the American Artists School. Under the guidance of his teacher, Joseph Solman, and Betty Parsons, who gave him his first solo exhibition at the Wakefield Gallery in 1943, Stamos pursued his interest in painting and began studying surrealist literature. Influenced by automatism and the work of William Baziotes, Stamos began to employ indeterminate psychosomatic forms as subjects. An Abstract Expressionist, Stamos joined the likes of Pollock, de Kooning, and Rothko to become the youngest member of The Irascible Eighteen during the late 1940s, and his work is now credited as a precursor to the Color Field movement. Stamos went on to teach at prominent institutions such as the Art Students League of New York, Cummington School of Fine Arts, and Black Mountain College. He continues to be exhibited by more than fifty major museums and institutions worldwide. He died in his father’s hometown of Lefkada, Greece in 1997.


Art League of America


Wakefield Gallery, 1943 (solo)-1957

Carnegie Institute, 1945-1951

Whitney Museum of American Art, 1945

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1946

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1946

Mortimer Brandt Gallery, 1944, 1946, 1947

Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1948

Phillips Gallery, 1950 (solo)

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, 1958 (solo)

Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C. 1958 (retrospective)

National Gallery, Athens

Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens, 1958

Waddington Fine Arts, Montreal, 1968 (solo)

Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, New York, 1968

Marlborough Gallery, New York 1971 (solo)

Athens Gallery, Athens, Greece, 1974 (solo)

Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, 1977 (solo)

Jean & Karen Bernier Gallery, Athens, 1982 (solo)

Knoedler Gallery, Zurich, 1984 (solo)

Turske & Turske, Zurich, 1985 (retrospective)

Museum Morsbroich, Germany, 1987 (solo)

Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center, Athens, 1989 (solo), 1994

ACA Galleries, New York, 1992 (retrospective)

Municipal Art Gallery, Athens, 1994

Museums and Public Collections

Addison Gallery of American Art

Arizona State University Art Museum

Arkansas Arts Center

Ball State University Museum of Art

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Brooklyn Museum of Art

Butler Institute of American Art

Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio

Corcoran Gallery of Art

De Young Museum, San Francisco, California

Denver Art Museum

Empire State Collection

Frederick R Weisman Art Museum

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

George Walter Vincent Smith Museum

Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Indianapolis Museum of Art

John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University

LaSalle University Art Museum

Lowe Art Museum

Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis

Montana Museum of Art and Culture

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

Museum of Modern Art

National Picture Gallery, Athens, Greece

Newark Museum

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

Phoenix Art Museum

Plattsburgh State University Art Museum, New York

Portland Art Museum, Oregon

Robert Hull Fleming Museum, Burlington, Vermont

San Francisco

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Seattle Art Museum

Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska

Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, Indiana

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

University of Arizona Museum of Art

University of Michigan Museum of Art

University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum

Walker Art Center, Minnesota

Whitney Museum of American Art

Wichita Art Museum

Worchester Art Museum

Wright Museum of Art

Yale University Art Gallery

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