Stephen De Staebler, Standing Figure with Ribs & Standing Figure with Missing Hip, 1978

Stephen De Staebler

Two Geologies: Stephen DeStaebler & Danae Mattes
February 6 — March 1, 2014

Dolby Chadwick Gallery is pleased to announce a two-person exhibition featuring the art of Danae Mattes (b. 1958) and Stephen De Staebler (1933-2011). As evidenced by their shared use of geologic motifs and emphasis on the organic properties of their materials—in this case, clay—both Mattes and De Staebler are deeply inspired by nature and the landscape. Engaging elements of landscape also allows both to ask questions about the human experience and to reflect on the human condition more broadly: how did we get here? Where do we go? As organic matter ourselves, what is our relationship to the rich, elemental body known as Earth? Two Geologies brings Mattes and De Staebler’s art into conversation in order to tease out these questions. While the selected works’ motivating concerns often run parallel to each other—threads that existed even prior to the artists’ marriage—they also occasionally diverge in visceral albeit complementary ways.… read more

Winged Woman Ascending, 2011

Stephen De Staebler

December 8, 2011 — January 28, 2012

Having worked primarily in clay for the first part of his career, De Staebler began experimenting with bronze during the late 1970s. Rather than viewing the two mediums as mutually exclusive, clay's organic and malleable qualities exerted an undeniable influence upon De Staebler’s innovative approach to casting. The first step in his process was to cast into bronze hundreds of fragments of arms, legs, wings, and “earth forms” originally made from clay and wax. From this library of bronze fragments he was then, by means of assemblage, free to create entirely new forms. Even his ostensibly finished works were often subjected to further additions, subtractions, and modifications, as if he were still "modelling" the material. By producing new sculptures using fragments excavated from his own art practice, De Staebler developed a signature aesthetic recognized today as uniquely his own.… read more

Figure with Black Torso, 2008

Stephen De Staebler

New Work
January 14 — February 27, 2010

An important figure in the California Clay Movement, De Staebler’s works in both clay and bronze call to mind archetypes of the collective unconscious. Totemic and fragmented in form, the sculptures waiver between the dichotomies of earthly and spiritual, body and landscape and fragility and resiliency.… read more