Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997) - REDS - Zacharias Portalakis collection
How to paint Inferno? What colors to use? How to enlighten the subconscious? How to approach the invisible, the inner scape? Αbstract painter seems like blinded Oedipus. This is his damnation, this is his salvation, also. He does not need to see, ‘cause he, already, knows. Abstraction, a theology with no God.
After an explosive first period on his career on Biomorphics, Sun Boxes and Infinity Fields, Theodoros Stamos faces a great interval of mental inversions and artistic doubt. Member, himself, of the Irascibles (1951), the famous, as much as, fighting, team of the American abstract expressionism and close friend to the most distinguished faculty of New York, as to Barnett Newman, Arshile Gorki, Fernand Léger, Clifford Still or Mark Rothko, he achieves what every ambitious creator seeks: the recon art form, the personal tag, the significant form, as Clive Bell would want.
But this was not enough. Recognition was followed by contestation, and fame by a suspected nature. Away from the tradesmen interests and their strategic games, Stamos creates from 1986 to 1994 in Lefkada, Greece, the most shocking self-confessional state of oneness, the Reds.
Once more, is about the Interminable Fields (Infinity Fields), inspired by an ideal and inaccessible Lefkada, however, illuminated by a hidden light and penetrated through a metaphysical shiver. There are no more trapped sols ready to explode, nor are there vast horizons but, only, incandescent styles, anxious, spontaneous and violent, like tongues of fire. The meditative Stamos becomes allusively metaphysical, painting death, irrelevant whose, his or ours, from the artistic awareness of life.
And if most of the New York Faculty representatives were reconciled in a cerebral formalism, Stamos kept, until the end, his existential expressionistic beliefs, remaining to be one of the classic abstracts. His incompatible romanticism emerges in his last, semi-finished painting, dedicated to Van Gogh, constituting the highlight of his feature.
Manos Stefanidis, Associate Professor of EKPA