John McLaughlin Paintings: Total Abstraction is a long-overdue retrospective on a pioneer of West Coast abstraction. It considers John McLaughlin’s body of work and his unique influence on the Los Angeles postwar art scene.
For decades, John McLaughlin (1898–1976) steadily produced some of the most fascinating paintings coming out of Southern California. Minimal geometric abstractions characterized by clean lines, bold colors, and flat, intersecting forms, McLaughlin’s paintings investigate symmetry and composition, and are largely informed by the Japanese notion of ma―the special emptiness between forms. Generously illustrated with more than 80 images, the book features reproductions of the self-taught artist’s works and celebrates their simple beauty and precision. In addition, insightful essays explore McLaughlin’s relative obscurity in the pantheon of 20th-century American artists, his influence on contemporaries and later artists, and the role of Asian art and philosophy in McLaughlin’s practice.
This book was published in conjunction with John McLaughlin Paintings: Total Abstraction at LACMA from November 13, 2016 to April 16, 2017. With contributions from Stephanie Barron, Lauren Bergman, Tony Berlant, Michael Duncan, Russell Ferguson, and Ilene Susan Fort.
- 144 pages, 8.75x 10.75 x 0.75 in.
- 92 color illustrations