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Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997)
Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997)

The Door II

Details
Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997)
The Door II
signed, titled and dated 'The DOOR II 1961 STAMOS' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
66 x 66 in. (167.6 x 167.6 cm.)
Painted in 1961.
Provenance
Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York
Prudential Financial, Newark
Its sale; Christie's, New York, 15 March 2005, lot 145
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

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Celine Cunha
Celine Cunha

Lot Essay

"The work of Theodoros Stamos, subtle and sensuous as it is, reveals an attitude towards nature that is closer to true communion. His ideographs capture the moment of totemic affinity with the rock and the mushroom, the crayfish and the seaweed. He redefines the pastoral experience as one of participation with the inner life of the natural phenomenon. One might say that instead of going to the rock, he comes out of it. In this Stamos is on the same fundamental ground as the primitive artist who never portrayed the phenomenon as an object of romance and sentiment, but always as an expression of the original noumenistic mystery in which rock and man are equal." Barnett Newman as quoted in B. Cavaliere, "Theodoros Stamos: On the Horizon of Mind and Coast," Theodoros Stamos, Zurich, 1984, p. 29).
The youngest of the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artist, Theodoros Stamos was amongst the eighteen painters and ten sculptors—including Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Ad Reinhardt—who, later dubbed The Irascibles, convened to alter the accepted notion of American twentieth-century art as established by some of the world’s leading institutions. A true painter’s painter, Stamos’s masterful handling of the medium invites silent contemplation wherein the viewer is lured through the paintings outer layer into the recesses of its underlying strata. A truly enigmatic artist, Stamos’s paintings were born out of a harmonious interplay between intellect and emotion. As the artist himself has described, "Painting at its best consists of truth to one's paint, to one's self and one's time, and most of all to one's God and one's dream" (T. Stamos, as quoted in The New American Painting, New York, p. 72). Indeed, as art historian, Barbara Cavaliere explains, “Because each painting is the memory of a moment in Stamos’s experience, each one differs from the others. Living organisms cannot repeat inner states exactly; the direction of a line, the character of an edge, an accent of color are never quite the same. Stamos titles his paintings at various stages in their development, as the work reminds him of something he has seen. Because each painting is an experiential blend, titles are not literal; they act as keyholes into possible underlying meanings” (B. Cavaliere, Theodoros Stamos, New York, 1981, p.4).

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