new-york

John McLaughlin

Whitney Museum of American Art

John McLaughlin, born in 1898, has painted full time since 1946, when he settled on the West Coast after the war. He has shown there since 1952, but never here. The closest he came, until now, was a retrospective at the Corcoran in 1968. The 13 paintings in this small exhibition at the Whitney range from 1949–70 with the majority from the mid-’60s. The paintings are not large: ten of them are 4' x 6', and the rest even smaller. McLaughlin’s work has always been geometric and usually quite simple. Judging from the Corcoran catalogue, the work during the ’50s seems to have been relatively complicated and involved with a more European Constructivist kind of geometry, similar to Diller and Bolotowsky. The paintings in this exhibition are not complicated at all; in most McLaughlin has done nothing but divide the rectangle into a number of vertical sections, more or less symmetrical. In a few,

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