Barbara Stauffacher Solomon

April 19 – May 26, 2024

shape of the design.
view one.
Who are you?, 1956
Who is She?, 1956, and “Nope,” he said, “Dope,” She said., n.d.
view 2.
Where are you going?, 1956, and Red Square in Paris, n.d.
concept drawing.

There are the same number of stairs inside Barbara Stauffacher Solomon’s house as there are inside the staircase gallery. For this exhibition, Bobbie designed a coverage for the stairs, which leads the viewer to a suite of never-before-seen drawings from across Bobbie’s eighty years of art making.

Recently, I became Bobbie’s live-in caretaker. To get up to her home, you must climb a steep set of stairs that leaves some winded and completely transported to the hive-mind of a stoic artist with a love for modernity and order. In order to stay, you must leave your outside realities at the door. One of the first things I asked her was if she wanted to draw. She said no, that she only works when she has a project. I brought down her drafting table and tools from the inaccessible-to-her upstairs to her more immediate living area. Now, every morning, she asks me, “What are we working on today?” Projects have sustained her for ninety-five years, the life of a true working artist.

When Bobbie wakes up, she emerges from fantastical dreams filled with the past. She recounts her old home in the Marina, the greenery that used to grow in the house, family and friends, and project ideas. Figures of unknown origin appear, and animals act in storybook ways. Bobbie moves across cities and sees specific architectures, traveling, wandering, revisiting.

Bobbie recently asked for a reminder of what people say about seeing the past when you die, as in that your life flashes before your eyes. She told me she is slowly and surely experiencing something similar, the past appearing before her. In this way, she’s been seeing double, the past and present, and immersing herself in a visual world that becomes future work. Drawing to a Close.

— Gabriel Garza

She saw the staircase and laid it down,
made it red, flipped it around,
went to bed, got up instead.
Let’s make a copy, it’s ok if it’s sloppy,
Make it smoky, make it darker,
just remember, not to falter,
with your hand, when drawing the line,
afterward, we’ll have some wine.


A special thank you to Katherine Ross Ward, Bobbie’s daughter Nellie King Solomon, and dear friend Chris Grunder for their immense support.


Barbara Stauffacher Solomon (b.1928 in San Francisco) has worked as an artist, designer, and landscape architect across eight decades. Perhaps best known for her invention of Supergraphics, she has also shown her work widely and is represented in the permanent collections of MoMA, LACMA, The Walker Art Center, and many more.


Gabriel Garza (b.1995 in Los Angeles) is an artist and curator based in San Francisco. His longer term curatorial projects include Punto Lairs inc (Los Angeles), and in collaboration with Theadora Walsh, Thats A More (Oakland), and In Concert (SF). Upcoming curations include a suite of shows at Bass & Reiner (SF), Personal Space (Vallejo), Elbow Room (Portland, OR), Arts of Life (Chicago, IL), and Route 29 (Frenchtown, NJ). His solo show Malaprop Pablum opens May 30th at /(Slash) as part of their /room/ program.

gaberealgarza.com / @gaberealgarza

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