Doris Staffel, Figure

Doris Staffel: Figure (1988) Charcoal on paper
Charcoal on paper
Credit Line
Gift of the artist, 2011

Around 1987, Staffel suffered a herniated disc that, she says, "had me flat on my back for over five months.” However, she adds, "It slowed things down, and put me in touch with many aspects of myself I had not been in touch with before.”

The experience of being immobile began to open up observations, and her response to physical therapy led Staffel to do many drawings and acrylic paintings of imagined figures -she hadn't drawn figures since the 1940s, when she was in graduate school. At first she depicted only singular figures, as in this work and Standing Nude. Soon she was including multiple figures, as in Abstract Figuration and Enfolding and in the charcoal drawing Mother and Daughters.

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