"Experiencing the landscape is spiritual for Erik Laubscher. His paintings become the poetic language of his emotions - his reactions to the vastness and varying contrasts of the South African landscape. He unifies lines, forms, colours and textures into ordered compositions - capturing the emotional impact of the landscape. The result is a celebration of the magnitude and expansiveness of the land.
For 60 years Laubscher has been involved in depicting the South African landscape - forever the scout and explorer of different perspectives that speak to him in new ways. He is constantly refining his powers of observation and continues to make new discoveries when revisiting familiar scenes, specifically the Overberg and Swartland. In recent decades his quest has been to capture the intrinsic essence of the scenery portrayed in these compositions.
He explores the landscape with the eye of a photographer and of luck - to be in a particular place at a particular time, to capture that special moment. As artist, he becomes a seismograph of the infinite moods of the landscape?He works with what he experiences visually and emotionally, and concentrates on its poetic essence. The magical power of his art lies in the way that it creates an opportunity for others to experience his interpretation of a particular scene or region.
Realism is transformed into abstraction. Arresting patterns in the landscape are juxtaposed, producing a monumental depiction of an intense experience of the landscape."
Amanda Botha 2004
1927: Born in February in Tulbagh, Cape Province
1946-1947: Studied under Maurice van Essche at Continental School of Art.
1948-1949: Studied portrait drawing under Frank Slater RA in London and then attended the Anglo - French Art Centre, London under John Minton and Claude Venard.
1950-1951: Académie Montmartre, Paris under Fernand Léger.
1952: Taught with Alfred Krenz in Stellenbosch. 1953 Elected member of the New Group.
1953-1955: Head of the Contemporary School of art, Cape Town. Co-founded with Marjorie Wallace the Cape Salon.
1966: First South African to receive the Carnegie Scholarship, through which he spent three months on a study tour of the USA.
1969: Art Director of the Cape Town Art Centre.
1970: Founded the Ruth Prowse Art Centre, Woodstock, Cape Town.
1972: Awarded the Cape Arts Medal for Services to Art.
1978: Appointed to the Board of Trustees to the Michaelis Collection, Old Town House, Cape Town.
1979: Founder member of Cape Arts Forum.
1987 - 1990: Appointed to the Board of Trustees of the S A National Gallery.
1990: Awarded the 'Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns' 'Besondere Erepenning vir Skilderkuns'.
1994: Cape Tercentenary Foundation Award for outstanding contribution to the Visual Arts as Creative Artist and Teacher.
2001: Honorary Life President of the Ruth Prowse School of Art, 'In Recognition of over Thirty years of Service to the Ruth Prowse School of Art and the Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Art Community of South Africa'.
2002: Cité International des Arts, Paris - renewed interest in still life and interior painting.
Numerous group exhibitions from 1950 in France, SA, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Belgium and the USA
1954: Solo exhibitions in Gallery Motte, Geneva, Switzerland.
1957: Works selected for Sao Paulo Bienal.
1960 & 1964: Quadrennial Exhibitions.
1971: University of Stellenbosch, Retrospective Exhibition.
1978: SAAA Gallery, Cape Town, joint exhibition with June te Water.
1979: Cape Town Biennial, Invited Artist.
1980: Republic Festival Exhibition. University of Stellenbosch, solo exhibition.
1985: Drostdy Centre, Stellenbosch, joint exhibition with Claude Bouscharain and Stanley Pinker.
1991: Young Pioneers of the 1950's exhibition at the Bellville Association of Arts.
1994: Major Retrospective exhibition of 140 paintings, drawings and photographs 1944 to 1994, SASOL Museum and US Gallery, University of Stellenbosch.
2000: Solo exhibition, Association of Arts, Worcester.
2003: Solo exhibition including earlier works, Irma Stern Museum.
2004: Three-man Exhibition with Jacobus Kloppers and Walter Meyer, Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery, Cape Town.
ABSA Bank, Anglo-Platinum, Barclays Bank, Bloemfontein Art Gallery, BMD Knitting Mills, Cape of Good Hope Bank, Constitutional Court - Midrand, CSIR, Deutsche Bank, Didata, Ellerman House, First National Bank, General Mining, Hester Rupert Art Museum - Graaff-Reinet, Investec, JCI, KWV, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, N.B.S - Cape Town, M & L Distributors, Norwich Union, Old Mutual, Pretoria Art Gallery, Rembrant Art Foundation, Renwick International, SA Fine Worsteds, SA National Gallery - Cape Town, SA Reserve Bank, Sanlam, SANTAM, SASOL, SABC, Standard Bank, Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, Telcom, University of Cape Town, University of the Orange Free State, University of Pretoria, University of Stellenbosch, University of the Witwatersrand, William Humphreys Art Gallery -Kimberley.