John McLaughlin

Paintings 1947 - 1974

February 20 – April 19, 2013

Van Doren Waxter is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition John McLaughlin: Paintings 1947 - 1974, a solo exhibition featuring paintings and works on paper spanning the career of the late California artist John McLaughlin (1898 – 1976). The exhibition will be on view from February 20th to April 19th, 2013.

McLaughlin’s work visualizes the idea of transcendentalism. Contemplatively arranged fields of color play with notions of left and right, proportion, and bright and neutral tones. His signature hard-edge classicist style invokes a cerebral and disciplined elegance. Many of McLaughlin’s works are truly symmetrical, presenting both a formal order with a discord of color, the result of which sometimes produces a sort of animated effect. Modest in scale and painted with a delicate and restrained hand, these works are both physically approachable and mentally distancing.

McLaughlin’s study of the art, language and customs of Japan heavily influenced his work as an artist. Following a trip to Japan in 1935, McLaughlin began painting as a hobby. Largely self-taught, he drew upon his knowledge of aesthetics, language and both Eastern and Western artistic practices. An avid collector and sometimes dealer of Japanese prints, he was well-versed in Eastern iconography and ideals. McLaughlin also looked to Western contemporaries Kasimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian for their development of distinct abstract styles. Applying Eastern philosophy to Western formalism, McLaughlin was able to bridge cultural gaps and establish his own signature form of abstraction.

John McLaughlin was born in Andover, MA in 1898 and died in Dana Point, CA in 1976. He was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Solo museum exhibitions include John McLaughlin: Western Modernism, Eastern Thought, Laguna Art Museum and The Prints of John McLaughlin: Site of Contemplation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A retrospective of his work is currently being organized at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Selected public collections include Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York among others.