Laina Terpstra

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Quick Facts
San Francisco, CA
Birth year
Lives in
Brooklyn, NY
Works in
Brooklyn, NY
Sarah Lawrence College, 2013

Laina Terpstra, born and raised in San Francisco, is a figurative oil painter currently based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where her focus was Painting, Modern Dance, Philosophy and Theology. Her paintings are heavily rooted in expressionistic painting traditions, where some of her influences include Max Beckman, Kirchner, Francis Bacon, and Frank Auerbach. Having grown up in San Francisco and studied at the Art Institute, Bay Area Figurative artists; Diebenkorn, David Park, and Elmer Bishop were also formative influences. Her work is also in dialogue with more contemporary painters such as Howard Hodgkin, and Michael Van Often, both of whom are interested in investigating the limitations and metaphors specific to the medium of painting. 

Laina's background in modern dance informs her work, in her sensitivity to movement and gesture. The tactility of the paint and her acute awareness of touch evoke a kinesthetic empathy on the part of the viewer that draws one into the internal motion of both the evoked space, and the physical, tactile present. While veering towards abstraction, her compositions always retain an internal scaffolding of realistic space and light. Forms are deconstructed and distilled to their purest elements so that what is left is merely the code of an image that your mind is compelled to complete. Her work explores this liminal place where things are on the verge of being something and being nothing.



Graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY May 2013.

Coursework in Painting at Sarah Lawrence College, UC Berkely, SF Art Institute, and the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland

Group Exhibitions

2010 Barbara Walters Gallery, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

2011 Tic Tac Toe. AMO Studios, Brooklyn, NY

2012 Anexact Geometries. AMO Studios, Brooklyn, NY

2012 Grace + Clark Fyfe Gallery, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland

2013 Distraction. Gallery 60SIX, San Francisco, CA

2014 Chromoscope. Holographic Center fro the Arts, Queens, NY

2014 99cent Plus Gallery. Brooklyn, NY

Upcoming Exhibitions

October 2014 99cent Plus Gallery. Brooklyn, NY


Sarah Lawrence Visual Art Review, 2012

7x7SF, “Four Exceptional Gallery Exhibitions to Visit,” 2013

Sarah Lawrence Visual Art Review, 2013

Exhibited with these artists
Exhibited at these venues
Laina Terpstra has Exhibited at these venues:

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