Franklin Parrasch Gallery is pleased announce its participation in Frieze Masters with a single-artist “Spotlight” presentation of works by John McLaughlin.
The selected works, dating from 1947-1967, reflect the artist’s search to achieve a sublime aesthetic awareness. Aspiring to the spirit of the fifteenth century Japanese brush painter Sesshu, McLaughlin sought aesthetic universality by means that are imaginable in the context of visual engagement; in his words, “enabling the spectator to contemplate nature beyond the limitations of an image or symbolism.”
John McLaughlin (1898-1976) arrived at his painting career relatively late in life, without the primer of art school training. He began painting in the his late forties following a long period of travel abroad both as a civilian and as a military intelligence officer during World War II, including an extended stay in Japan. His early works approach pictorial representation from a post-Malevich construct, initiating what became an all-consuming journey to eliminate the image.
In the 1950s, McLaughlin’s interests shifted from referential, image-dense abstraction to issues of perception and visual experience. He began working exclusively with a vocabulary of simple geometric shapes distributed upon monochromatic fields. By the 1960s, McLaughlin’s vision and practice was distilled so as to reveal a remarkable breadth within his disciplined realm of linear elements and subtle variations of hue and tone.