Maggie Laubser: Woman stamping mealies - SOLD
Woman stamping mealies
Oil on canvasboard
45 x 55 cm
Signed bottom left
Sold - 2009
Born Maria Magdalena Laubser, 14 April 1886, Malmesbury District, Cape Town
Died 17 May 1973 at the age of 87, Strand, Cape
Maggie Laubser’s expressionistic paintings do not attempt to portray reality. They should always be appreciated as a personal expression of her unique view of the harmony of colours and forms in, as she called it, ‘the Miracle of Creation’. Her paintings may appear naïve, but are laden with spiritual undertones - she harnessed her art to celebrate and praise the harmonious qualities of the Earth, and all life on it, under a benevolent Creator.
Laubser returned to South Africa from her European studies in 1924, and although her first solo exhibition in Cape Town was a critical and financial disaster because of her unorthodox expressionistic ideas, she remained undeterred in her approach, and persevered with her unique expressionist style and philosophy.
She spent the following years on the family farm Oortmanspost, near Klipheuwel in the Malmesbury district, painting life around her - still life studies with flowers, portraits of the farm labourers and their children, cottages with ducks and farmyard scenes. From the mid-thirties, she undertook working trips to the Transvaal, the Free State and Natal, and produced portraits of Indian and African women as well as many pastoral landscapes with people tending their sheep and crops, harvesting, and going about their domestic chores; collecting firewood, fetching water and stamping mealies.
Esmé Berman describes Maggie Laubser’s work, of the period when she was nearly 60 years of age and a well established and respected artist, very aptly:
By the mid-40’s Maggie Laubser had staked out her artistic territory: a world of simple images, in which the harmony of her unsophisticated and untroubled youth survived.
Dalene Marais, Maggie Laubser, her paintings, drawings and graphics, Johannesburg, 1994, p 292, Ref. no. 1183
Esmé Berman, Art and Artists of South Africa, Halfway House, 1996, p 255