WASHINGTON—Armenian-American artist Arshile Gorky’s 1944 painting “The Liver in a Cock’s Comb,” will be the first of a series of stamps being unveiled on March 11 by the US Postal Service honoring abstract expressionists.
With this stamp pane, the U.S. Postal Service honors the artistic innovations and achievements of 10 abstract expressionists, a group of artists who revolutionized art during the 1940s and 1950s and moved the U.S. to the forefront of the international art scene for the first time.
Other artists in the pane include Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, both collaborators of Gorky at the height of the abstract expressionist movement.
Abstract expressionism refers to a large body of work that comprised radically different styles, from still, luminescent fields of color to vigorous, almost violent, slashes of paint. In celebration of the abstract expressionist artists of the 20th century, art director Ethel Kessler and noted art historian Jonathan Fineberg (Gutgsell Professor of Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) selected ten paintings to feature on this colorful pane of self-adhesive stamps. Kessler used elements from Barnett Newman’s Achilles (1952) to frame the stamps. The arrangement of the stamps suggests paintings hanging on a gallery wall. For design purposes the sizes of the stamps are not in relative proportion to the paintings.
A comprehensive exhibit of Gorky’s work just completed in Philadelphia. The exhibit moves to the London Tate Modern Museum in February and will begin a run in June at Museum of Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles in June.