Stephen De Staebler, Two Women Walking, 1992

DeStaebler among Squarecylinder's 'Best of 2015'

Best of 2015

January 2016

With their allusions to antiquity and corroding human forms, De Staebler’s iconic sculptures powerfully activated the secluded grounds of the Villa Montalvo Arts Center, an Italianate villa and public park nestled into the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Saratoga...… read more

Stephen DeStaebler, Two Women Walking, 1992

Squarecyclinder reviews Stephen DeStaebler at Montalvo Arts Center

Stephen De Staebler @ Montalvo

September 2015

With their allusions to antiquity and corroding human forms, Stephen De Staebler’s iconic sculptures (1933-2011) powerfully activate the secluded grounds of the Villa Montalvo Arts Center, an Italianate villa and public park nestled into the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Saratoga. Whether stationed on the villa’s lawns, its great veranda, or in the beckoning gardens, the settings for De Staebler’s five life-sized bronze sculptures are perfect.… read more

Deep Striding Woman installed at Montavlo

San Francisco Chronicle reviews Stephen De Staebler's exhibition at Montavlo

September 2015

Victory against all odds appears to be one operating metaphor in “Metaphoric States: Five Bronze Works by Stephen De Staebler” at Montalvo Arts Center through Oct. 1. De Staebler’s 2010 bronze “Winged Figure Ascending” seems like that idea’s most obvious realization — the Greek goddess Nike as a Brutalist angel readying for takeoff in front of Montalvo’s villa.… read more

ARTnews reviews "Two Geologies"

May 2014

Titled "Two Geologies," this exhibition paired the materially and geologically driven works of American sculptor Stephen De Staebler (1933-2011) with recent paintings by his widow, Danae Mattes.… read more

SFAQ: “Two Geologies” featuring Stephen De Staebler & Danae Mattes at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco.

February 2014

Stephen De Staebler died in 2011 at age 78, but not before he was privy to arrangements being made for his retrospective at the De Young the following year, “Matter + Spirit: The Sculpture of Stephen De Staebler.” A student of Theology schooled at Princeton University (BA 1954), he attended summer classes at legendary Black Mountain College, and later studied ceramics with Peter Voulkos at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to the production of his own art, he was a professor at The San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco State University, inspiring a new generation of clay artists.… read more

Thorax Figure, 2008

American Craft Magazine awards Stephen De Staebler the highest honor of a Gold Metal for the 2012 Craft Council

Masters: Stephen De Staebler

September 2012

It’s a familiar phrase, but rarely does it seem as apt as when it describes Stephen De Staebler’s move to the Bay Area in 1958. With a bachelor’s in religion from Princeton and two years of Army service under his belt, the artistic 25-year-old enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, planning to earn a secondary-school teaching degree. He did, but three other things happened, too. He took a figure modeling class, prompting him to get his master’s in fine art. Meanwhile the area’s topography was reawakening a childhood fascination with landscape and terrain. And in 1959, Peter Voulkos showed up.… read more

Winged Woman Ascending, 2011

Squarecylinder highlights Stephen De Stabler at artMRKT May 2012

SF’s Triple-Play Art Fair Weekend

May 2012

Squarecylinder highlights Stephen De Stabler at Dolby Chadwick's booth for Art MRKT May 20-13, 2012.… read more

Figure with One Arm Open, 2011

Artpractical reviews Stephen De Staebler's retrospective at the de Young

Matter and Spirit: The Sculpture of Stephen De Staebler

March 2012

I once walked into a small gallery under the roof of the Musée Maillol in Paris and found myself surrounded by a dozen of the French artist’s nude women in bronze. The iconic broad-shouldered figures startled me, arrested my movement. It is common in American museums to see one or two Maillols in a room—to be intrigued by their beauty, the power and grace of their form, the intensity of their gaze—but it is rare to be cornered by a posse of them.… read more

Blue-Green Torso, 1977 | Photo by DeWitt Cheng

DeWitt Cheng reviews Stephen DeStaebler's exhibition at the De Young Museum on Huffington Post

Stephen De Staebler: Matter + Spirit

March 2012

I'm not attracted to formal religion, but I am drawn to the questions that religion tries to deal with: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Those questions will never be answered in any final way. While you're alive here on earth, you can ignore them or you can try to deal with them.… read more

Winged Woman Walking I, 1987 Staglin Family Collection, Napa. © Estate of Stephen De Staebler

SF Weekly reviews Stephen DeStaebler's retrospective at the de Young Museum

"Matter + Spirit": Stephen DeStaebler's Angels Don't Fly

February 2012

From the dark and mangled Stephen DeStaebler sculpture that stands at attention near 251 Third St., just 20 seconds of walking will bring you to the Keith Haring dancers on the opposite corner of Howard Street. Haring's work lifts people. On a recent evening, I witnessed a couple saunter toward Haring's giant figures and then stop directly in front, where they kissed and sweet-nothinged each other for minutes. In front of DeStaebler's Man with Flame, meanwhile, no one kissed, laughed, or demonstrated anything resembling joy.… read more

Blue Face with White Stripe, 1971 | Photo: Philip Ringler

Kenneth Baker reviews Stephen De Staebler’s retrospective at the de Young Museum and discuses the bronzes at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in an article for the San Francisco Chronicle

Sculptor Stephen De Staebler grew as works decayed

January 2012

The title "Matter + Spirit: The Sculpture of Stephen DeStaebler" sounds like conventional museum curator's lingo. But it fits very well the two-room exhibition at the de Young Museum that it names.… read more

An elevator crew unloads Stephen De Staebler's bronze sculpture "Winged Figure Ascending" (2011) from beneath the cabin of the passenger elevator used to lift the 410-lb. object to the second floor Dolby Chadwick Gallery for De Staebler's first posthumous

San Francisco Chronicle's Kenneth Baker describes moving DeStaebler sculptures into Dolby Chadwick Gallery

How crews get the hang of moving big sculpture

January 2012

Visitors who enter an exhibition like that of Stephen DeStaebler's bronzes at the Dolby Chadwick Gallery get the impression that it all came together effortlessly. But logistical headaches often lie behind the seamless look of such a show.… read more

Figure with One Arm Open, 2011 | Photo: Scott McCue

Stephen DeStaebler’s sculptures are a “Bay Area art pick” not to be missed according to Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area arts picks, Jan. 5

January 2012

Stephen DeStaebler: In mid-January, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum will open "Matter + Spirit: The Sculpture of Stephen DeStaebler," a posthumous survey of the Bay Area sculptor's work. Meanwhile, a gallery show featuring some of the last sculptures he made offers a foretaste of his techniques and creative thinking at their apex.… read more

Stephen De Staebler in his Berkeley, Calif., studio in 2009.

New York Times publishes obituary for Stephen DeStaebler

Stephen De Staebler, Sculptor of Bronze and Clay, Dies at 78

May 2011

Stephen De Staebler, a sculptor whose fractured, dislocated human figures gave a modern voice and a sense of mystery to traditional realist forms, died on May 13 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 78.… read more

Bay Area sculptor Stephen DeStaebler (1933-2011)

San Francisco Chronicle publishes obituary for Stephen DeStaebler

Bay Area sculptor Stephen DeStaebler dies at 78

May 2011

Stephen DeStaebler, a Bay Area sculptor of international renown, died at his Berkeley home Friday from complications of cancer. He was 78. Mr. De Staebler, like his mentor Peter Voulkos (1924-2002), helped to reposition ceramic materials and techniques from the critical abjection of "mere craft" to media of major ambition in contemporary sculpture. Mr. De Staebler later extended his formal innovations into the more durable medium of cast bronze, which suited his many public commissions.… read more

"For Miguel de Unamuno II" (1985) oil, magna, charcoal, pastel and collage on paper by Jim Morphesis

Kenneth Baker reviews "Heads" exhibition curated by Peter Selz at Dolby Chadwick Gallery

"Heads" minus tales

April 2011

Art historian and museum director emeritus Peter Selz, now in his 90s, has a longer view than most of what has persisted and what has expired in the art of several generations past. So his choice of "Heads" as the theme of the show he assembled for Dolby Chadwick warrants serious reflection. Significantly, Selz sidelines the notion of portraiture, although several things on view announce themselves as portraits or self-portraits. "Heads" encompasses both living and dead, portrait and mask, individual and symbol.… read more

Thorax Figure (2008)

Peter Selz reviews Stephen deStaebler's exhibition at Dolby Chadwick Gallery

Stephen deStaebler: The Endurance of Vulnerability

May 2010

For almost fifty years Stephen de Staebler has been engaged in building fractured human figures made of clay, which, he points out, is the crust of the earth (Latin for terra-cotta). He was introduced to clay at Berkeley in 1958 and studied with Pete Voulkos, the master of clay, and, like Pete, he built his own kiln and was on his way. He was mesmerized by the resistance of the material during the process of shaping it and by the unpredictability of the result when the work was fired. Like the Abstract Expressionist painters, de Staebler welcomed the element of chance.… read more

Richard Whittaker Interviews Stephen DeStaebler for Works & Conversations

Interview: Stephen De Staebler

June 2009

John Toki encouraged me (Richard Whittaker) to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen DeStaebler. The following conversation is distilled from three meetings with the artist at his home and studio.… read more