Laina Terpstra | Recent Paintings
In her new paintings, Terpstra continues an ongoing investigation of the tension between loose, gestural brush strokes enclosed against the depth and illusion of architectural or dimensional spaces. Masterfully balancing the implementation of perspective against haunting ethereal formations that appear to emerge from the architecture itself, Terpstra’s compositions are compelling visual riddles that pull the viewer in and give the eye and mind multiple points of entry for prolonged contemplation. Terpstra takes inspiration from the old masters, often working in response to specific source material. The reference to Dutch master Pieter de Hooch is particularly conspicuous in these works, marked by Terpstra’s reinvention of the dark enclosed interior with a single light source and patterned floors. Though she references the past, Terpstra’s work has a contemporary beat - her abstracted shapes pulse with a dynamic movement. They flow, bend, shift and sway to meet the moment.
“This newest body of paintings continues the evolving abstract language that I have been investigating. The kinesthetic, emotive potential of the brush stroke is of central interest in my process, and its path through surrounding space. Gestural moments form in cathartic bursts of energy, which I guide within a framework of more linear and structured planes. I view this journey as akin to a dance – navigating elements of balance, tension, restraint, and release.
My compositions are loosely inspired by source imagery from old masters painters. As noted in their titles, in this grouping, Pieter de Hooch, Edmund Tarbell, and Botticelli are among my references. Retaining this tie to objective space is important, allowing me to track my progress and see the development of different languages describing space side by side, as though entering deeper into new dimensions.”