Startlingly visceral in their impact, the fractured, achingly expressivemasks of the internationally celebrated Bay Area sculptor StephenDe Staebler (1933–2011) both mystify and ground us, stirring ourimaginations and bringing us closer to our human essence.Individually, each mask mesmerizes with a distinctly uncanny,almost supernatural energy; try as we might, we cannot turn away.When viewed as a group, they take on the power and import ofa Greek chorus, beckoning us to tune into the deeper subtext ofour personal experiences. ––Frances Malcolm
This 64-page, 35 color plate catalogue features Stephen De Staebler's clay masks, printed in conjunction with the exhibit, Stephen De Staebler: Masks and Monumental Figures at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, November 21, 2021–April 3, 2022.
Stephen De Staebler was born in 1933 in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his BA in theology from Princeton University in 1954 and his MA from the University of California, Berkeley, under Peter Voulkos in 1961. He taught at the San Francisco Art Institute during the mid-1960s and held a long tenure at San Francisco State University, from which he retired in 1990. Over the course of his career, De Staebler was the recipient of numerous awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a 1983 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others. The de Young Museum held a highly lauded retrospective of his work, “Matter + Spirit: The Sculpture of Stephen De Staebler,” in early 2012.
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