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Wrested From the Earth
excerpt from catalog essay by Rick Newby
"Like his Figure Columns, these new works possess a presence very mnearly sacred in feeling. Constructed of fired clay and pigment, they resemble nothing so much as relics found at the site of some hitherto undiscovered city, perhaps in Egypt, Sumeria, or the Yucatan, and yet, despite their apparent antiquity, they speak of a shared humanity that spans cultures and eras. Both tender and tough, these fragmentary figures offer evidence of a sensibility that understands both the inevitability of physical death and the unquenchability of the human spirit. They resemble the colossi that ornament Egyptian tombs, but on an intimate scale. Like those great figures, De Staebler's effigies cast a spell both disquieting and oddly soothing. Each work seems the still point in a zone of preternatural quiet."
Rick Newby - 2008