Infinity field T series, 120 signed, inscribed and dated 'INFINITY FIELD, T SERIES, 120' 1991 Σtamos (on the overlap) acrylic on canvas 168 x 152.5 cm.
PROVENANCE: ACA Gallery, New York. Sothebys, New York, 11/7/1997. Private European collection.
EXHIBITED: New York, ACA Galleries, Stamos Recent Paintings, March 4-March 27, 1993 (this work was used as the invitation of the show).
Featuring a powerful wedge-like form in dazzling white set against a luminous, pulsating ground of brilliant reds and glowing blues, this strikingly impressive painting of rich form, swirling calligraphic gesture and intense emotion invites the viewer to contemplate a mystic's vision of wholeness and rapture, of silence and event.1
The Infinity Field Torino series refers to the Shroud of Turin, a piece of linen believed to have been placed over Christ's body at the time of his burial and bearing the image of his face. During the 1980s, Stamos became fascinated by the Shroud, which was given to the Holy See by the House of Savoy around the time that the artist was in Jerusalem. Enthralled by this idea of inexplicable spirit, this blurring between the human and the divine, which lies at the core of his Torino paintings, Stamos realised his quest for a spiritual experience and universal imagery that would speak to age-old human emotions.2 As noted by art historian R.S. Mattison, "Stamos was interested in the cultural power of the object and the manner in which it inspires human ritual and faith. Because the Shroud is a two-dimensional image transferred onto cloth, it is in essence similar to a painting on canvas. The Infinity Field Torino series provide a powerful expression of concerns central to Stamos's art. While acknowledging the temporal state of all human endeavours, they strive towards spiritual expression."3
One of the founders of the New York School, Theodoros Stamos, whose work featured at the recent (2010) exhibition of Abstract Expressionism at the MoMA, is considered a modern postwar master whose luminous work is related to both Jackson Pollock's gestural action paintings and Mark Rothko's colour-field abstractions.
1. See D. Ashton, Stamos, exh. cat., Kouros Gallery, New York 1985. 2. See K. Olds, Theodoros Stamos: Odysseys in Time and Space in Theodoros Stamos Infinity and Beyond, exhibition catalogue, Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, 2008, p. 10. 3. R.S. Mattison, Theodoros Stamos, a Communion with Nature, exhibition catalogue, Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York 2010, p. 51.