SMoCA Presents Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and Nellie King Solomon in Joint Exhibition
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) will present mother and daughter artists Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and Nellie King Solomon in their first joint exhibition, "Outside the Frame: Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and Nellie King Solomon" on view Sept. 19, 2020 - Jan. 31, 2021.
Both artists were trained as architects but were never licensed, which might explain the way they establish rules, grids or frameworks, only to challenge their very existence. At the heart of the pair's artistic practice lies the confident ability to think and explore beyond the norm, or outside the frame.
Perhaps best known for her 1960s "Supergraphics" - graphics oversized to the scale of architecture - artist Barbara Stauffacher Solomon has worked in graphic design, architecture, landscape architecture, drawing, writing and more. Around the walls of the gallery, "Outside the Frame" features utopian drawings from her "Green Architecture" series (mid 1980s), large green ping-pong paintings (early 1990s) and a recent set of alphabet drawings (2019). Originally on display during the 1990 exhibition "Visionary San Francisco" at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SMoCA will present a recreation in the middle of the gallery that features ping-pong tables for play.
"The green rectangular shapes that echo in Barbara Stauffacher Solomon's drawings and paintings are a reminder of the importance of the urban space for play," explained Jennifer McCabe, SMoCA director and chief curator.
The exhibition features recent and never-before seen large-scale works by Nellie King Solomon that use abstraction and realism to tell stories, resulting in experiential paintings. Additionally, one of the featured artworks was created specifically for "Outside the Frame" during the COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of canvas and brushes, King Solomon paints on the sharp industrial material of Mylar, using custom wood and glass tools for pulling the paint around in sweeping, gestural marks. Bold colors and unusual materials, like asphalt, swirl about, captivating the senses and revealing the tension between spontaneity and rigor at work in her practice.
"The more informal collaborations that take place for artists are often born out of close relationships, such as husband and wife," McCabe said. "In the case of 'Outside the Frame' we are featuring mother and daughter artists who have quite different practices. What I find so fascinating is that the culture of experimentation, chance and play that was created by Barbara Stauffacher Solomon's life view had a huge impact on her daughter but it manifests in a much different way. If it were possible to show the positive effect of a creatively open environment it would look something like this exhibition."
Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Curated by Jennifer McCabe, director and chief curator.
Photo credit: Lance Gerber