Stamos was born in 1922 in New York. He showed an interest in art early and was recognized as an artist with promise in 1936 when he received a scholarship to the American Artist’s School for sculpture. He quickly gave up sculpture for painting in which he was basically self-taught.
In 1950, Stamos was the youngest artist to be included in the famous “irascibles,” a group of progressive artists in New York City that protested the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s restrictive practices for exhibiting and collecting their work.
Stamos came to the dynamic Black Mountain College in 1950 to teach painting and drawing. His students included Clement Greenberg and Kenneth Noland. Stamos developed his artistic style in the height of Abstract Expressionism. He is best known for his paintings done later in his career. Stamos’ works can be found in countless permanent collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Whitney Museum and The Phillips Collection to name a few.