#3186h – 1999 33c Celebrate the Century - 1940s: Abstract Expressionism

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U.S. #3186h
33¢ Jackson Pollock
Celebrate the Century – 1940s


Issue Date: February 18, 1999
City: Dobbins AFB, GA
Quantity: 12,533,000
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method:
Lithographed, engraved
Perforations:
11.5
Color: Multicolored
 
The abstract expressionist movement in American painting is still considered one of the most significant in art history. Its emergence shifted the capital of the art world from Paris to New York City, for the first time earning world recognition for American artists’ modern creations.
 
Often called the New York School, artists of this movement rejected traditional methods and emphasized the expressive possibilities of color, line, and form. Members of this school included Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and David Smith.
 
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was arguably the group’s most famous member, and the first to achieve international fame during the post-World War II period. His working method was to place canvas on the floor of his studio and drip and splatter paint from above.
 
Pollock’s physical movements are credited with giving rise to the term action painting. He used hard brushes, sticks, trowels, and even glass syringes to create the abstract works for which he is best known. 
 
The image on the 1999 U.S. postage stamp is based on a photograph of Pollock that appeared in LIFE magazine in 1949. Jackson Pollock is the first artist since Norman Rockwell to be pictured on a stamp.
 

Birth of Adolph Gottlieb

Gottlieb’s 1949 Romanesque Façade stamp
US #4444i pictures Gottlieb’s 1949 Romanesque Façade.

American artist Adolph Gottlieb was born on March 14, 1903, in New York City, New York.  Gottlieb’s art was displayed in more than 250 exhibitions during his lifetime, and he’s considered to be one of the first American artists to embrace the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Gottlieb realized his love for art while he was in high school and attended the Art Students League of New York.  He then found work on a merchant ship that would take him to Europe to study art there.  He spent over a year exploring France, Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, visiting museums in every city he went to.  By the time he returned to New York, he was one of the most widely traveled artists in the city at the time.  Gottlieb went on to continue his studies at the Art Students League, Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union, and the Educational Alliance.

Gottlieb held his first solo exhibition at New York’s Dudensing Galleries in 1930.  In 1935 he joined with a group of other artists known as “The Ten.”  The group worked together to promote and sell their work during the tough economic times of the Great Depression.

2012 Arizona stamp
US #4627 – Gottlieb’s time painting the Arizona desert inspired a drastic change in his art.

After a brief period of teaching, Gottlieb spent nine months painting in the Arizona desert, which brought about a major change in his work.  While he had previously painted in an expressionist-realist style, he began to explore surrealism and formalist abstraction.  By the time he returned to New York, many of his artist friends criticized his work for being too abstract.  Gottlieb then befriended with European Surrealists who confirmed his belief that the subconscious was the source for universal art.

1993 Abstract Expressionism stamp
US #3186h – Celebrate the Century stamp honoring Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s.

In the 1940s, Gottlieb began creating what he called “Pictographs.”  It was a new form of abstraction that was based entirely on his subconscious, rather than adhering to a determined narrative.  He also explored Surrealist bimorphism and automatism, creating organic shapes spontaneously from his subconscious.  His style of painting allowed people to interpret his paintings in their own way.

2005 Guggenheim Museum stamp
US #3910a – Gottlieb is the only artist whose work was part of a collaborative retrospective between the Guggenheim and the Whitney Museum.

In the 1950s, Gottlieb began to reject the “all-over painting” found in American abstract painting.  He began creating large Imaginary Landscapes, with very active lower panels and more passive upper panels, establishing a different style of abstraction.  Concerning his work, Gottlieb said, “I frequently hear the question, ‘What do these images mean?’  This is simply the wrong question.  Visual images do not have to conform to either verbal thinking or optical facts.  A better question would be ‘Do these images convey any emotional truth?’”

In the 1960s and 70s Gottlieb embarked his Burst series.  These works had simplified disc shapes and winding masses.  This work is often considered some of the early color field style, a forerunner of Lyrical Abstraction.  In the 1960s, Gottlieb also experimented with sculpture, producing 42 sculptures, including three large outdoor pieces.  In 1963 he was the first American artist to earn Brazil’s Gran Premio of the São Paulo Bienale.  Additionally, in 1968 the Guggenheim and Whitney Museums in New York held a retrospective exhibition of his art.  This was the only collaboration between these two museums to date.

Gottlieb Fleetwood First Day Cover
US #4444i – Fleetwood First Day Cover

Gottlieb suffered a stroke in 1970 that left him mostly paralyzed except for his right arm and hand.  He continued to paint until his death on March 4, 1974.  After his death, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation was established according to his wishes to provide grants to artists.

Visit the foundation’s website for more on Gottlieb and to view some of his artwork.

 
Read More - Click Here


 

U.S. #3186h
33¢ Jackson Pollock
Celebrate the Century – 1940s


Issue Date: February 18, 1999
City: Dobbins AFB, GA
Quantity: 12,533,000
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method:
Lithographed, engraved
Perforations:
11.5
Color: Multicolored
 
The abstract expressionist movement in American painting is still considered one of the most significant in art history. Its emergence shifted the capital of the art world from Paris to New York City, for the first time earning world recognition for American artists’ modern creations.
 
Often called the New York School, artists of this movement rejected traditional methods and emphasized the expressive possibilities of color, line, and form. Members of this school included Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and David Smith.
 
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was arguably the group’s most famous member, and the first to achieve international fame during the post-World War II period. His working method was to place canvas on the floor of his studio and drip and splatter paint from above.
 
Pollock’s physical movements are credited with giving rise to the term action painting. He used hard brushes, sticks, trowels, and even glass syringes to create the abstract works for which he is best known. 
 
The image on the 1999 U.S. postage stamp is based on a photograph of Pollock that appeared in LIFE magazine in 1949. Jackson Pollock is the first artist since Norman Rockwell to be pictured on a stamp.
 

Birth of Adolph Gottlieb

Gottlieb’s 1949 Romanesque Façade stamp
US #4444i pictures Gottlieb’s 1949 Romanesque Façade.

American artist Adolph Gottlieb was born on March 14, 1903, in New York City, New York.  Gottlieb’s art was displayed in more than 250 exhibitions during his lifetime, and he’s considered to be one of the first American artists to embrace the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Gottlieb realized his love for art while he was in high school and attended the Art Students League of New York.  He then found work on a merchant ship that would take him to Europe to study art there.  He spent over a year exploring France, Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, visiting museums in every city he went to.  By the time he returned to New York, he was one of the most widely traveled artists in the city at the time.  Gottlieb went on to continue his studies at the Art Students League, Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union, and the Educational Alliance.

Gottlieb held his first solo exhibition at New York’s Dudensing Galleries in 1930.  In 1935 he joined with a group of other artists known as “The Ten.”  The group worked together to promote and sell their work during the tough economic times of the Great Depression.

2012 Arizona stamp
US #4627 – Gottlieb’s time painting the Arizona desert inspired a drastic change in his art.

After a brief period of teaching, Gottlieb spent nine months painting in the Arizona desert, which brought about a major change in his work.  While he had previously painted in an expressionist-realist style, he began to explore surrealism and formalist abstraction.  By the time he returned to New York, many of his artist friends criticized his work for being too abstract.  Gottlieb then befriended with European Surrealists who confirmed his belief that the subconscious was the source for universal art.

1993 Abstract Expressionism stamp
US #3186h – Celebrate the Century stamp honoring Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s.

In the 1940s, Gottlieb began creating what he called “Pictographs.”  It was a new form of abstraction that was based entirely on his subconscious, rather than adhering to a determined narrative.  He also explored Surrealist bimorphism and automatism, creating organic shapes spontaneously from his subconscious.  His style of painting allowed people to interpret his paintings in their own way.

2005 Guggenheim Museum stamp
US #3910a – Gottlieb is the only artist whose work was part of a collaborative retrospective between the Guggenheim and the Whitney Museum.

In the 1950s, Gottlieb began to reject the “all-over painting” found in American abstract painting.  He began creating large Imaginary Landscapes, with very active lower panels and more passive upper panels, establishing a different style of abstraction.  Concerning his work, Gottlieb said, “I frequently hear the question, ‘What do these images mean?’  This is simply the wrong question.  Visual images do not have to conform to either verbal thinking or optical facts.  A better question would be ‘Do these images convey any emotional truth?’”

In the 1960s and 70s Gottlieb embarked his Burst series.  These works had simplified disc shapes and winding masses.  This work is often considered some of the early color field style, a forerunner of Lyrical Abstraction.  In the 1960s, Gottlieb also experimented with sculpture, producing 42 sculptures, including three large outdoor pieces.  In 1963 he was the first American artist to earn Brazil’s Gran Premio of the São Paulo Bienale.  Additionally, in 1968 the Guggenheim and Whitney Museums in New York held a retrospective exhibition of his art.  This was the only collaboration between these two museums to date.

Gottlieb Fleetwood First Day Cover
US #4444i – Fleetwood First Day Cover

Gottlieb suffered a stroke in 1970 that left him mostly paralyzed except for his right arm and hand.  He continued to paint until his death on March 4, 1974.  After his death, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation was established according to his wishes to provide grants to artists.

Visit the foundation’s website for more on Gottlieb and to view some of his artwork.