The United States Postal Service (USPS) today officially released a special set of stamps emblazoned with images of iconic Abstract-Expressionist paintings, meaning that art and stamp enthusiasts will now be able to collect reproductions of 10 iconic works by the likes of Pollock, Rothko, and Motherwell for a mere $4.40.
USPS art director Ethel Kessler and art historian Jonathan Fineberg, a professor at the University of Illinois – Champaign, picked the paintings, which are arranged on the commemorative sheet as if they were hung salon–style in a gallery. Among the works included are Mark Rothko's Orange and Yellow, 1956; Robert Motherwell's Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34, 1953-54; and Joan Mitchells La Grande Vallée 0, 1983.
Written along the top of the handsome stamp sheet is a quotation from Motherwell that reads, “The function of the artist is to express reality as felt,” which should lend an extra dose of artistic aura to the normally perfunctory practice of stamping and mailing letters.