Live Virtual Auction, 10 - 11 May 2020
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About this Item
Eric Laubscher’s early career is a catalogue of still lifes. His compositions from this period are characterised by their graphic delineation of forms, flattened picture planes and bold use of colour. The formal styling of his paintings owed a debt of influence to Fernand Léger, Laubscher’s teacher at the Académie Montmartre in Paris, as well as Bernard Buffet, a leading figure in the New Realist school of French expressionism. From Buffet he gained insights into how to choreograph pictorial space and notate essentials. Produced in 1952, the year he returned to Cape Town, this lot registers Buffet’s waning influence on Laubscher, who already in Paris had begun incorporating bolder colour treatments into his still-life compositions. Laubscher’s contemporary style of painting made an immediate impact when he first exhibited in Cape Town. Writing in 1952, Walter Battiss described his work as “compelling”, adding that Laubscher’s ability to “paint big canvases with satisfying assurance” represented “a challenge to stale ideas in the Cape”.1 Matthys Bokhorst, who later became director of the South African National Gallery, commended Laubscher’s still lifes for their “stylised realism with strong cubistic elements”.2
- Walter Battiss (1952) “New Art and Old Art in South Africa”, The Studio, Vol. 144, page 70.
- Matthys Bokhorst (1955) “Exhibition by Erik Laubscher”, Cape Times, 24 September.
Wolpe Gallery, Cape Town.