Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Bowdoin College Museum of Art Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Advanced Search

1962.83

Artist

John D. McLaughlin

Title

Abstraction

Creation Date

1950

Century

20th century

Dimensions

23 in. x 28 in. (58.42 cm x 71.12 cm)

Object Type

mixed media

Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

casein and graphite on masonite

Credit Line

Gift of Eliot O'Hara

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

1962.83
John McLaughlin, who did not receive any formal training in studio art, explored the potential of geometric abstraction introduced by the early-twentieth century European avant-garde, especially Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian. McLaughlin grew up in Boston, and after serving in World War I worked there as a successful realtor. His frequent trips to the Museum of Fine Arts inspired his passion for Japanese culture. He went on to live in Japan (1935–1938) and to study the language in Hawaii before becoming a translator for the United States Marine Corps in World War II. He moved to California in 1946 as a full-time artist, and quickly established himself within a group of “hard-edge” painters. Rejecting the dynamic gestures of Abstract Expressionism in favor of a controlled, even paint application, McLaughlin and his cohort aimed at reducing the artist’s presence in the work of art. “My purpose is to achieve the totally abstract,” McLaughlin indicated. “I want to communicate only to the extent that the painting will serve to induce or intensify the viewer’s natural desire for contemplation without the benefit of a guiding principle.”

Keywords: black and white   flatness   geometric   hard-edge   Japan influence   minimal   Mondrian influence  
 

Recommend keywords

Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.