© für die abgebildeten Werke bei den Künstlern, ihren Erben und Rechtsnachfolgern

Home of the Sun, 1957

Theodoros Stamos (1922–1997, USA)

Medium: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 213.6 x 177.8 cm

about the work

Theodoros Stamos was born the son of Greek immigrants in New York in 1922. Thanks to a scholarship, Stamos studied sculpture at the American Artists School in New York from 1936 to 1939, but then devoted himself entirely to painting. In the 1940s, 20-year-old Stamos had his first solo exhibition at New York’s Wakefield Gallery under Betty Parsons and got to know various celebrated artists in the art scene of the time, including Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb and Barnett Newman. These already experienced and established artists recognised the great intensity in Stamos’ work. His art is not based on any theory of style but on his perception of nature and its physical acts. The use of mythological subjects and primitive objects in abstracted forms reflected one of his basic ideas of contemporary expression. This is one of the reasons why Stamos is included among the initiators of abstract expressionism. Among other things, he took part in the Venice Biennale in 1948 and the second Documenta in Kassel in 1959. In addition to his work as an artist, he also taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where Kenneth Noland was one of his students among others.

From 1948 Stamos incorporated different impressions of light in his works. More than the formal element, what is apparent here is a depiction of Stamos’ feeling. The artist often integrated references to the greatest source of light on earth – the sun. His work Home of the Sun from 1957 in the Reinhard Ernst collection is classified at the transition from this early creative period among his first series of works – Sunboxes. The series that was created between 1962 and 1970 includes works that are relatively calm and restrained. From 1970, these were followed by the very extensive Infinity Fields series of works, in which Stamos dealt with a personal crisis among other things; following the suicide of his friend Mark Rothko in 1970, Stamos along with two other friends of the deceased artist became executors of his will and due to some dubious schemes and after a long trial, he was convicted of fraud in 1977. This event overshadowed the work of Theodoros Stamos and him as an individual, which is one of the reasons why art critics paid little attention to him for a long time. With his painting, Theodoros Stamos captures the radiance of an object with all its drama, which can be experienced in various examples in the Reinhard Ernst collection, which includes a total of 12 Stamos works.

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