Featured Acquisition

Stephen De Staebler

A resident of the California Bay Area since the late 1950s, Stephen De Staebler was best known for his work as a ceramic artist. Although he trained with well-known Abstract Expressionist painters at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, De Staebler discovered his chosen medium when he met the pioneering ceramicist Peter Voulkos at the University of California in the late 1950s. He called Voulkos his greatest teacher, and from him he learned to experiment more freely with materials.

Known for large-scale vertical clay columns associated in some way with the human figure, De Staebler did not aim to make an ideal form or exact likeness, but rather deconstructed forms. In the late 1970s, he turned to bronze after an injury inhibited his ability to create ceramic figure columns. According to De Staebler, “I learned quickly that the reason I needed bronze was to separate the figure even further from the ground and let it stand on its own form, which isn’t possible in clay.” This sense of separation is evident in the sculpture Walking Figure with Other, a recent museum purchase. A detached leg and “backbone” armature are suspended in space behind the left side of the figure—the shadowy “Other” of the title. 

In his work with clay and bronze, De Staebler wanted to evoke a sense of passing time and permanence, as well as suggest the fragility of life. His sources of inspiration included his undergrad work in both religious studies and archaeology, and, in particular, his fascination with ancient sculpture. To create these fragmented sculptures, he kept discarded bits of fired clay in the backyard of his home—what he called his “boneyard.” He would pull pieces together and cast them in bronze, calling this process “spontaneous archaeology.” 

Stephen De Staebler, American, 1933–2011. Walking Figure with Other, 1991. Bronze. 85 x 17 7/8 x 38 1/2 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Mary Mallery Davis Collection Endowment, 2017.58



Acquisitions

Stephen De Staebler
American, 1933–2011
Walking Figure with Other, 1991
Bronze 85 x 17 7/8 x 38 1/2 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Mary Mallery Davis Collection Endowment, 2017.58
Joan Miró
Spanish, 1893–1983
Sommeils, ca. 1953–1960  
Color lithograph on paper 14 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches
Gift of Falding Bishop, 2017.59
Manon Catherine Cleary
American, 1942–2011
Movement Series #16, 1994
Graphite on rag paper 20 x 26 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2017.60
Jacques Moitoret
American, born 1947
Wassily Kandinsky I, 2005
Oil on canvas 17 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches
Gift of Francis M. Naumann, 2017.61
Jacques Moitoret
American, born 1947
Henri Matisse, 2006
Oil on canvas 25 x 35 inches
Gift of Francis M. Naumann, 2017.62
Jacques Moitoret
American, born 1947
Man Ray, 2005
Oil on canvas 25 ½ x 21 inches
Gift of Francis M. Naumann, 2017.63
Jacques Moitoret
American, born 1947
Salvador Dalí, 2005  
Oil on canvas 23 x 24 inches
Gift of Francis M. Naumann, 2017.64
Jacques Moitoret
American, born 1947
Jeff Koons, 2006
Oil on board 28 x 42 inches
Gift of Francis M. Naumann, 2017.65
Jacques Moitoret
American, born 1947
Andy Warhol, 2006
Oil on canvas panel
20 3/4 x 26 1/4 inches
Gift of Francis M. Naumann, 2017.66
Jacques Moitoret
American, born 1947
Max Ernst, 2005
Oil on canvas
28 x 20 inches
Gift of Francis M. Naumann, 2017.67 
Laurent de Brunhoff
French, born 1925
umping for Joy, 2008
Lithograph on paper
15 x 20 inches
Gift of Bennett and Sylvia Engelman, 2017.68
Caio Fonseca
American, born 1959
Sarabande, 2004
Color spitbite, sugarlift aquatint softground etching, chine collé and hand stamping
11 3/4 x 19 inches
Gift of Bennett and Sylvia Engelman, 2017.69
Chuck Close
American, born 1940
Phil (from the Rubber Stamp Portfolio), 1976
Rubber stamp on paper
8 x 8 inches
Gift of Bennett and Sylvia Engelman, 2017.70
Agnes Martin
American, born Canada, 1912–2004 
Praise (from the Rubber Stamp Portfolio), 1976
Rubber stamp on paper 11 x 11 inches
Gift of Bennett and Sylvia Engelman, 2017.71
Bernard Perry
American
The Pink Mosque, n.d.
Digital print
18 x 24 inches
Gift of Estelle and Martin Karlin, 2017.72
Richard Pasquarelli
American, born 1968
Cleveland, 2017
Aquatint hand-colored with watercolor
11 3/4 x 12 inches
Gift of Max Lepler and Rex L. Dotson, 2017.73