From May 13 through July 2, Hollis Taggart Galleries will present a full retrospective of the work of Theodoros Stamos, the first in the United States in nearly twenty years. The youngest member of the “Irascibles” profiled in Life magazine, Stamos created an innovative oeuvre defined by intellectual engagement with nature, science, and philosophy. With forty paintings on view, the exhibition begins in 1944—shortly after the artist’s first solo show with Betty Parsons at age twenty—then documents his engagement with Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s, and continues into the 1990s, when he explored lush color and spare compositions inspired by Greece.
The exhibition will present biomorphic paintings from the 1940s, works inspired by Darwinian theory and themes of myth and ritual that Barnett Newman described as “subtle and sensuous,” including Ancient Land (TAO 810) (1947) and Migration (1948). Later paintings, including Deseret (1959) and Classic Yellow Sun-Box (1968) epitomize Stamos’ work with increasingly reductive compositions. Dramatic expanses of deep color, inspired by the sea and sky of the Mediterranean, define later artworks such as Infinity Field - Knossos (1973-74) and Infinity Field JS #2 (1992).
Organized with the participation of the artist’s estate, “Theodoros Stamos: A Communion with Nature” will include paintings from the estate never before on public view. A fully illustrated catalogue by Robert S. Mattison, Metzgar Professor of Art History at Lafayette College and author of Arshile Gorky: Works, Writings, Interviews (Poligrafa, 2010) and Robert Rauschenberg: Breaking Boundaries (Yale, 2003) accompanies the exhibition.