Swartland No 1
Oil on canvas
Image size: 99 x 129cm
Framed size: 110 x 140 .5 x 5cm
"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
"Swartland No.1 is a departure from my approach during the past twenty plus years, when I relied on 'landscape subjects' as inspiration. This painting and the new series concentrate on regions, going beyond the 'likeness', through abstracting shapes and colours to create the spatial and monumental characteristics I associate with each region."
Erik Laubscher, 2005