Exhibitions, Press Release

June 25, 2020

Thursday, June 25, 2020, updated August 20, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Virginia McInnis | [email protected] | 480-874-4663 

‘BEYOND: Works by Nellie King Solomon and Barbara Stauffacher Solomon’ on View Sept. 19, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021 

Image from “Breaking all the Rules” on view at Palm Springs Art Museum from Sept. 21, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019. Photo credit: Lance Gerber

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) presents mother and daughter artists Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and Nellie King Solomon in their first joint exhibition, “BEYOND: Works by Nellie King Solomon and Barbara Stauffacher 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, “BEYOND” 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 “BEYOND” 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 ‘BEYOND’ 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.

Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually. In conjunction with the City of Scottsdale, we also host more than 200,000 people annually on our campus through a robust rentals program. 

Founded in 1999, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) explores the best of contemporary art, architecture and design. Global in its focus, the Museum is a unique and vital cultural resource for the Southwest, serving local audiences as well as visitors from the United States and abroad. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) has four galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum’s collection, along with SMoCA Lounge, a living, functional art installation and space for community engagement. The Museum presents a wide variety of educational programs and special events for adults and families, including lectures, readings, performances, docent-led tours, workshops and classes. SMoCA also features an outdoor sculpture garden housing James Turrell’s “Knight Rise,” one of the renowned artist’s public skyspaces, and “Scrim Wall,” a monumental curtain of translucent glass panels by James Carpenter Design Associates. The Museum’s retail store, Shop@SMoCA, offers classic design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry, art and architecture books, and imaginative gifts for all occasions. 

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art 
7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 
[email protected] 

As of March 2020, the Museum will be closed to the public until further notice. For more information regarding Scottsdale Arts’ response to COVID-19 visit ScottsdaleArts.org/notices.


$10 adults, $7 students, seniors (65+) and veterans; free for members and children under 15 
Free every Thursday and every second Saturday of the month.

MEDIA: For interviews, digital images or additional information, please contact:  

Virginia McInnis 
Public Relations Specialist 
Scottsdale Arts 

Phone: 480-874-4663 
Email: [email protected]