The USPS unveiled its 2010 Stamp Program, which includes images honoring 10 abstract expressionist artists.
WASHINGTON — For those who still find the time to hand-write letters, greeting cards and postcards, and send them via old-fashioned snail mail, the United States Postal Service's new stamp designs will add a touch of style to the outside of any envelope. The 2010 stamp program unveiled Thursday by the USPS pays homage to a diverse range of people, places and events. Featured subjects include Nobel Peace Prize honoree Mother Teresa, legendary actress Katharine Hepburn, the Cowboys of the Silver Screen, American painter Winslow Homer, the Mackinac Bridge, the Sunday Funnies and the upcoming 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
One stamp pane in particular depicts the artistic innovations and achievements of ten abstract expressionists - Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock. This group of artists revolutionized art during the 1940s and 1950s and moved the U.S. to the forefront of the international art scene for the first time.
According to the USPS release:
"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."
The abstract expressionist stamps will go on sale March 11, 2010.