New York

John Mclaughlin

Emmerich Gallery

In last month’s issue I reviewed John Mclaughlin’s small exhibition at the Whitney. The 13 paintings in that show dated from 1946 to 1970. Those in his show at Emmerich, his first gallery exhibition in New York (he is seventy-six years old) are recent, from 1973 and 1974. In this work it seems that color and surface, which McLaughlin previously played down with deliberate control, are now being ignored, becoming either mechanical or genuinely neutral. The difference in surface is particularly startling: it is now overt, hard and closed. This deadens rather than subdues color, although it affects less visibly McLaughlin’s predominating use of black-and-white. Both color and surface in these new paintings lack the resonance of the earlier work. McLaughlin seems to have reduced his interest in horizontal and/or vertical divisions through a new rule: never both in the same painting. And these

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