One of the nation’s greatest modernist artists and a founding figure of Native American modernism, George Morrison (1919–2000) challenged prevailing ideas of what Native American art should be, arguing that an artist’s identity can exist independently from the nature of the art he creates. Morrison is best known for his abstract landscapes and monumental wood collages, which draw on childhood memory and reflect a deep and abiding connection with the natural world.
The pane of 20 stamps showcases five of Morrison’s abstract landscapes:The first row features Sun and River (1949), watercolor and crayon on paper. The work is part of the collection of the Plains Art Museum.The second row showcases Phenomena Against the Crimson: Lake Superior Landscape (1985), acrylic on canvas. The work is part of the collection of the Minnesota Museum of American Art.In the third row is Lake Superior Landscape (1981), acrylic on canvas. The work is part of the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.Spirit Path, New Day, Red Rock Variation: Lake Superior Landscape (1990), acrylic and pastel on paper, is highlighted in the fourth row. The work is part of the collection of the Minnesota Museum of American Art.The last row features Untitled (1995), color pencil on paper. The work is part of the collection of Krista and Bill Thorburn.Throughout his career, Morrison experimented with elements of expressionism, surrealism, and cubism, such as spontaneous composition, simplified geometric forms, and automatic drawing, and was quite comfortable switching between and even combining styles. He worked intuitively, thickly applying paint with a brush, with a palette knife, or directly from the tube, and varying his strokes to create even more texture and movement.
Although Morrison’s art seems entirely spontaneous, each work has been carefully organized. Many of his works feature a prominent horizon line inspired, consciously and subconsciously, by his childhood on the shore of Lake Superior. Representing the space where sky and water meet, the horizon line also marks the boundary between known and unknown, a mystery that Morrison repeatedly explored even as he continued to refine his modernist vision.
Antonio Alcalá served as art director and designer for this stamp pane.
The George Morrison stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. These Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.
Made in the USA.
Stamps per Pane: Pane of 20 (5 design)