File this under “better late than never.” The U.S. Postal Service is honored the Abstract Expressionists with their own stamps. According to their website:
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. The stamps go on sale March 11.
Selected by the art director Ethel Kessler of the U.S. Postal Service and art historian Jonathan Fineberg (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) these 10 self-adhesive stamps are featured on a pane that includes elements of Barnett Newman’s “Achilles” (1952) along the edges.
The set includes works by Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Wilhem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still. USA Philatelic has a list of the paintings here.
Who got snubbed? Mark Tobey, Lee Krasner, Sam Francis, William Baziotes, Norman Bluhm, Franz Kline, David Smith, Jack Tworkov, Norman Lewis, and few others. I know they had to pare down the list but I would have personally yanked the Clyfford Still in favor of Kline.
Judging by the selections, Fineberg & Kessler are big fans of the Albright-Knox Art Museum, and I can’t say I blame them. Four of the 10 works come that spectacular collection in Buffalo, New York. All the paintings, except one (Joan Mitchell), are in public collections. I don’t like the idea of the Postal Service reproducing art from private collections, sounds like a bad idea.