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Kieu Tran & Laina Terpstra | Sacred Spaces

Mar 1 — Mar 31, 2023

SACRED SPACES, a two person exhibition with gallery artists Laina Terpstra and Kieu Tran, centers a selection of new works from the artists who will be exhibiting together for the first time.

Working in two different mediums but sharing a distinct visual language where abstraction and representation merge together, painter Laina Terpstra and sculptor Kieu Tran’s  two person exhibition SACRED SPACES considers the formal deployment of movement, motion and space in their respective art practices. 

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 Tepstra’s reinvention of the dark enclosed interior with a single light source and patterned floors. Though she references the past, Tepstra’s work has a contemporary beat–her abstracted shapes pulse with a dynamic movement. They flow, bend, shift and sway to meet the moment. 

Movement and connection are at the heart of the new sculptures from Kieu Tran. Rendered in bronze and ceramic in contrasting black and white tones, these three dimensional amorphous shapes successfully reference both the human figure and its spirit. While the abstracted figures are standalone sculptures, when viewed in their respective pairs, a shared visual language emerges. Made in relationship to each other, Tran’s forms speak to the sacred space created between people in relationship to each other, whether in friendship or in love. Referencing the joy of dance and the elemental acts of the body, the works counter the recent social isolation of the pandemic and point to the hope, possibility and generative energy in the essential act of being together. What results is a language of community and togetherness shared in the landscape of these forms, a celebration of sacred space in the brevity of a moment or a lifetime. 


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