WHY? WHY NOT? - Barbara Stauffacher Solomon
80 Years of Art & Design in Pix & Prose, Juxtaposed
By Barbara Stauffacher Solomon
Published by Fun Fog Press
Lifelines & landscapes from the SF Art Institute, nightclub dancing in NY, to SF's Art in Cinema & the Hollywood movie scene. 1945 to 1955 was spent studying graphic design in Basel, Switzerland, and then onto a SF design office & painting Supergraphics at The Sea Ranch in the early 60's. Studying architecture at UCB in 1967, to work in Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, NY & SF.
After all this, Barbara became obsessed with 81/2”x11” sheets of white paper. She typed lines, drew lines and created letterforms that lined up into words.
"Words lined up into straight lines. Straight lines, one above another, lined up into columns & stories. Each line & liaison led to the next & related to the rest. I cut-&-paste a lot on more sheets of 81/2”x11” paper and became a knotty Y-NOT-KNOT lady looking on from across the book's binding. Glued, I looked for secrets in white shapes, the precious nothing of wide margins, the white space no one notices between the lines and lies, behind the scenes & in my life."
This is the 80 year career of Barbara Stauffacher Solomon.
Barbara Stauffacher Solomon is a San Francisco-based artist, graphic and landscape designer, and writer. Born in 1928, Solomon first worked as a dancer before studying painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute. After the death of her husband in 1956, Solomon moved to Basel, Switzerland to study graphic design at the Basel Art Institute with Armin Hoffman. She later studied Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.
Best known for her interior Supergraphics of the 1960s Sea Ranch and her 1991 Ribbon of Light installation at the Embarcadero Promenade in San Francisco, her iconic style of mixing Swiss Modernism and West Coast Pop, pioneered the look of the California Cool - an important moment in graphic design history.
Her works have been exhibited in galleries around the world from Paris to New York, and is currently on permanent exhibition at SFMOMA. Now in her 90s and still working on her craft, Barbara has turned her attention to a smaller canvas, creating pieces that tell not just one story, but many, and make a single page dance well beyond its borders.