Stamos was born in New York in 1922. In 1936 he won a scholarship to the American Artists School and began studying sculpture. In 1941 Stamos opened a framing shop, where he met Gorky and Léger and framed paintings by Klee for the Nierendorf Gallery.
Stamos’s first solo exhibition was mounted at Wakefield Galley in 1943. In 1947 he met a group of Surrealist artists including Rothko and Seligman. Stamos won the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award in 1956. The first retrospective of Stamos’s work was held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C. in 1958. In the same year his work was included in the Museum of Modern Art travelling show entitled ‘The New American Painting’. Examples of his work are held in several public collections including the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.
Stamos’s work is a synthesis of several influences, namely nature, Surrealism, the primitive arts and Asian Mysticism. Stamos said:
“I express the space and the things that are there as naturally as if I had before me only the sun and the sky, that is, the simplest thing in the world...I think only of rendering my sensations”.