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Sea Images

1947 Theodoros Stamos Born: New York, New York 1922 Died: Yiannina, Greece 1997 oil on fiberboard 60 x 36 in. (152.3 x 91.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the U.S. Maritime Administration 1959.11.5 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

In Sea Images a sandy "floor" is separated from a dark "sky" by a wavy area of murky black. A shape with thin radiating lines resembles a sand dollar or sea urchin, and a fish-headed shape emerges to touch a floating figure above, connecting the archaic inhabitants of the depths with the world of the surface. Sea Images was purchased the year it was painted for the SS Argentina, a passenger ship launched in 1929 that served as a troop ship during World War II. At the end of the war, the Argentina was converted into a luxury liner.

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008