Most European paintings in the decade after World War I show a pre-occupation with personal experience. Artists intentionally shifted their focus away from objectively recording the natural world to using objects in nature as a substitute for expressing personal reactions to the natural world. The attitude came to be called expressionism. The work of Laura Robb is an excellent example of expressionism painting at its best.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma native became a resident of Taos, New Mexico in 1986 because she sensed in the village a certain encouragement for artists and for self-expression in particular. This experience of artistic freedom nourished in her the spontaneity for which she is known. The lines, forms, features and even colors in her work are suggested rather than spelled out. Her canvases are quite thinly painted; often whole passages in a work are rendered in a kind of color short-hand.
Robb's interest in spontaneous gesture has led her to paint rather small paintings. As she has explained, it is difficult to maintain a free, un-tutored approach to a canvas for very long if the canvas is too large. Her works are often in the diminutive format of 12"x18" or smaller.
Robb's work is quite original. It maintains the surface appeal of a familiar composition, but beneath the floral bouquet or still life arrangement lies a technique which is very fresh, lively and engaging.