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SF61: Laina Terpstra & Tama Hochbaum SF61

Re-launching the exhibition program after a 7-month hiatus, George Lawson Gallery opens their 61st San Francisco show with selected paintings by San Francisco artist Laina Terpstra, her first solo with the gallery. Laina Terpstra graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2013 following additional coursework in painting at UC Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Glasgow School of Art. Her work has already been recognized with exhibitions in New York, Tokyo, San Francisco and Glasgow. Terpstra has titled her show Departures. Her paintings are rooted in deep tradition, with references ranging from Old Masters to Expressionist film. Contemporary precedents include Howard Hodgkin and Michael Van Often, both of whom have investigated limitations and metaphors specific to painting. Terpstra's background in dance promotes a sensitivity to movement and gesture, and the tactile quality of her paint, her touch, evokes kinesthetic empathy. Her painting is ephemeral yet physical. While veering towards abstraction, her imagery always retains realistic space and light, with forms that are deconstructed and distilled to their elements. Her work explores a liminal response to the world and to the history of art, defined through sensation, movement, and chromatic resonance.

In the middle room, the gallery presents 4 representative images from Chapel Hill-based photographer Tama Hochbaum's ongoing series, Bi. The name refers to a form of neolithic Chinese bas-relief, jade discs carved with a hole in the middle, often discovered as funerary objects in tombs and thought to represent heaven. Hochbaum is photographing multiple angles from a fixed position, printing on directly on aluminum, and reassembling the images as polyptychs with an empty center. Hochbaum's practices in a quasi-cubist mode, using the medium biographically, always reaching back to pull her ongoing narrative into one, integrated story, the loop of her earliest memories melding with her most recent experiences. Originally from New York, Hochbaum worked as a painter for 20 years before turning to photography and many of the formal concerns of paint persist in her approach to photographic media. She received her BA from Brandeis University and her MFA from Queens College, studying printmaking in the interim at Stanley Hayter's Atelier 17 in Paris under a Thomas J Watson Foundation Fellowship. She has had solo shows in Boston, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the William Benton Museum in Storrs, Connecticut. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo at the Media Lab at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her 6th solo with the gallery.