ERIK LAUBSCHER [ 1927 – 2013 ]
ERIK (Frederik Bester Howard) LAUBSCHER studied in London and Paris and returned to South Africa in 1951 with a strong Formalist grounding. His early paintings were influenced by Post-Cubist trends and the School of Paris. His studies under Fernand Léger would prove to be important and influence his work at a later stage.
Erik Laubscher has represented South Africa at the São Paulo and Venice Biennales and is included in most major South Africa Public and Corporate art collections. Besides his artistic legacy and numerous achievements, Erik Laubscher is celebrated for his remarkable contribution to art education and specifically for his role as founder and director if the Ruth Prowse Art Centre, where he applied himself for more than a quarter century. During his illustrious career which spans sixty years, Erik Laubscher has left an indelible mark on his students, fellow artist and appreciative public.
BY: Dr Hans Fransen
BORN:Tulbagh, Western Cape; 1927.
DIED: Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, 2013.
Training: 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 where John Minton and Claude Venard also taught and exhibited. 1950 – 1951: Académie Montmartre, Paris under Fernand Léger.1966: First South African artist to receive a Carnegie Grant – spent three months on a tour of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Washington, studying art movements in the USA. 2002: Cite’ International des Arts, Paris – renewed interest in still life and interior painting.
Selected Exhibitions: 1954: Solo exhibition in Gallery Motte, Geneva, Switzerland.1957: Works selected for São Paulo Bienal 1960 and 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 in the SASOL Museum and US Gallery, University of Stellenbosch (25 June to 31st July). 2000: Solo invitation exhibition Association of Arts, Worcester. 2003: Solo exhibition including some earlier works at the Irma Stern Museum Gallery. 2004: Three-man Exhibition with Jacobus Kloppers and Walter Meyer, Johans Borman Fine Art, Cape Town.
Public commissions: 1958: Terrazzo mural ‘Bon Esperance’, Beach Road, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town.1970: Tapestry for Nico Malan Theatre, Cape Town.1971: Mural (acrylic), Johannesburg International Airport.1976: four Mosaic panels, Tygerberg Hospital.1977: Mosaic panel, Melville Shopping Centre, Knysna.1977/8: two Mural panels, Medical Faculty Foyer, Tygerberg.1986: Hirt & Carter Calendar with Anthony Johnson (3rd Quarter).1987: Tapestry for Norwich Union, H.Q. Claremont, Cape Town.1987: Contribution to S.A.Fine Worsted’s Calendar. 1997: KWV Calendar (12 reproductions).1998: Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees.
Collections: Sanlam, SASOL, S.A.National Gallery, SABC, Standard Bank, Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, General Mining, Rembrandt Art Foundation, JCI, ABSA Bank, S.A. Fine Worsteds, Norwich Union, Pretoria Art Gallery, William Humphreys Gallery (Kimberley), Hester Rupert Gallery (Graaff-Reinet), S.A. Reserve Bank, First National Bank, N.B.S.(Cape Town), CSIR, Old Mutual, Bloemfontein Art Gallery, Cape of Good Hope Bank, Investec, Constitutional Court (Midrand), KWV, SANTAM, Ellerman House, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, BMD Knitting Mills, Renwick International, M & L Distributors, Barclays Bank, Telkom, Didata, Deutsche Bank, Anglo-Platinum, Universities of Cape Town, Orange Free State, Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand.